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Title: The Beaver, Vol. 1, February, 1921, No. 5

Author: Hudson's Bay Company

Release Date: September 22, 2014 [EBook #46935]

Language: English

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The Beaver A Journal of Progress title with star and beaver and a fort
Vol. I               FEBRUARY, 1921               No. 5

The Beaver
A Journal of Progress

Little Eskimo girl
Little Miss Ouikpigak, a future Eskimo belle of Great Whale River, whose father is a famous hunter for H.B.C. The fat of the seal is Ouikpigak’s only candy–more sweet to her than any all-day sucker.
Bottom border of title page: Emblem and Devoted to The Interests of Those Who Serve the Hudson’s Bay Company


H.B.C. Pioneer Steamer Ruled West Coast Trade 20 Years

The “Beaver,” of 109 Tons Burthen, Took Prominent
Part in History of British Columbia–Cared
for Wants of 40,000 Natives.


THERE was not a single phase of British Columbia history from 1835 to 1874 in which H.B.S.S. “Beaver” did not play a large part. She was admired by all those old pioneers associated with the history of the West Coast.

The foundation of Victoria City was laid by the “Beaver.” Fort Rupert and Nanaimo were built under her protection, and though Fort Simpson was founded prior to her arrival on the coast, she was the main protection of that establishment for many years afterwards.

Ship Used to Keep Law and Order

Operations of the Hudson’s Bay Company in Russian America were entirely under her control and many minor difficulties in that region were effectively settled promptly on her arrival at the seat of trouble. When, too, the reign of law and order was threatened closer home, in every case the arrival of the “Beaver” was awaited before effective steps could be taken to bring affairs back to a normal state.

On one occasion, two murderers escaped to Cowichan and the warship “Thetis” sent a hundred and fifty of her men on the “Beaver” and proceeded to Cowichan under command of James Douglas to administer the law.

There were many other cases of this nature that demonstrated the “Beaver’s” usefulness in developing and colonizing British Columbia, particularly the north coast.

The “Beaver” Steamed Round the Horn

It was, to many, a marvel that a small boat of this kind could steam round Cape Horn and weather any storm that she encountered. These men forget that, though small, she was built of stoutest oak and was considered a more able and seaworthy craft than many of much larger size operating today.

Her keel was of unusual size and in full keeping with the British oak stem and stern post. The best greenheart and oak ribs were used, being carefully dressed and of large size. The spaces between these frames were filled in solidly to a level above the water line with curved timbers of the same material as the ribs. Outside planking was oak and African teak, fastened with copper bolts and tree nails, covered with a layer of thick tar paper and then sheeted with fir fastened with spikes of bronze composition. The hull was surfaced with a sheeting of copper.

Launched Under Royal Patronage

Her length was a hundred and one feet, breadth inside paddle boxes twenty feet, outside thirty-three feet, depth eleven and one-half feet, having one hundred and nine tons burden. She carried a crew of twenty-six men and was armed with five nine-pounders. Her building, and especially her launching, created a great interest, as she is reported to have plunged into the mighty Thames under the patronage of royalty and in the presence of a vast throng of spectators.

H.B.C. Quality Shewn in Building

The construction of the “Beaver” indicates that the Hudson’s Bay Company were up-to-date and were living up to their British traditions by being always first in the field in any new enterprise that required capital and far-sighted commercial methods. It must be remembered that steam vessels were not at that time proven to be successful, but were in the experimental stage. The spirit of adventure, as the term was understood in those days, was much in evidence when the Company’s Governor and Committee ordered the “Beaver” in 1834 from Messrs. Green, Wigham & Green, at Blackwall, London.


The “Beaver” Riding at Anchor Near Victoria

Two new masts were made and installed at Port Simpson in 1858 by a carpenter named Rudlin, and she was sent to Sitka, Alaska, to be overhauled by the Russians the same winter (1858). Apart from this, nothing seems to have been spent on her other than what her own crew could do.

She had two engines 35 nominal horsepower, each of the long since obsolete side-lever type, though much in favour during those early times following the “Beaver’s” construction.

It was an interesting day when the keel of this wonderful little black steamer was laid, but how much more interesting must the 29th day of August, 1835, have been when the “Beaver” glided down into the English Channel and out on the trackless ocean on her voyage to the north Pacific ocean to become famous in the annals of the west.

The “Beaver” arrived at Robinson Crusoe Island, via Cape Horn, December 17th, 1835, and Astoria (Columbia River) April 4th, 1836.

H.B.C. Fur Headquarters on Columbia River

The Hudson’s Bay Company’s fur trade up to this date had as its headquarters on the Pacific Coast the Columbia River, but as the trade was being developed it was soon apparent that Columbia River was not the most suitable location from which to administer affairs. The ships from London were taking great risks when crossing the Columbia River bar, and as there were no steam tugs available, going up the Columbia River with a sailing vessel for one hundred miles or more was not at all to their liking. The coastwise boats, apart from the “Beaver,” were all small sailing-ships and the voyage to the Columbia from Puget Sound was really a stupendous undertaking.

The Hudson’s Bay Company’s possessory rights in Oregon were the stumbling blocks. If the Columbia River establishments were abandoned the Company’s claim might be jeopardized, and rather than do that a route was opened through from Fort Vancouver to Nisqually on the Puget Sound via the Cowlitz River, where trade goods could be transported by boat and ox-cart and shipped north on the ships engaged in the trade, thereby saving much time to the ships but wasting considerable of the time of the land forces.

The “Beaver’s” Coast Route

From Nisqually, the “Beaver” took a full cargo in January, proceeding to Fort Simpson, calling en route at all Indian villages where she would anchor, throw out her boarding nets and proceed to trade, so that by the time she reached Fort Simpson a large part of her cargo would have been traded.

At Fort Simpson the furs collected were taken ashore and stored and the ship restocked with trade goods; then she proceeded, calling at all villages en route to Taku. Returning to Fort Simpson, furs were unloaded and more goods taken.

This procedure was kept up all summer, the “Beaver” making about four trips north, and the same number south, leaving off in time to reach Victoria before Christmas.

The “Beaver” was not subject to orders from any but Sir James Douglas,[4] but she had all Posts on the route she covered under her control. It was estimated that she had to cater to the wants of forty thousand natives.

Monarch of Trade for Twenty Years

For twenty years she was complete monarch of the coast. In all new Indian trade countries and indeed in all new white settlements, the wants of the population had gradually increased, until in 1852 the “Beaver” was found to be totally inadequate for the trade. A new boat was built for the Company in England and named the “Otter,” arriving at Victoria in April, 1853.

Victoria to San Francisco in Four Days

One of the “Otter’s” first duties after arriving at Victoria from England was to go to San Francisco. Sir James Douglas says, “In spite of head winds, she went down in four days and returned in five days, and she was much admired where her unexpected arrival created quite a sensation.”

She was the first steamer propelled by a screw to be brought out by the Company, and was altogether just as successful as was the “Beaver” and had the same fault–being too small. However, the “Beaver” and “Otter” between them were able to take care of the work for a few years, until the “Enterprise” was purchased in 1862, to help out on the Fraser River run during the great Caribou gold excitement.

“Beaver” Chartered to British Government

It is easy to understand that by this time the “Beaver’s” engines were in need of attention, and it was under discussion as to whether they should be taken out and sent home to be re-bored, or whether the steamer should be sent herself to have repairs effected; but before a decision was reached, the boat was chartered to the British Government for the purpose of survey work.

Meanwhile, the Hudson’s Bay Company had built in England another ship, the “Labouchere.” She was of the paddle-wheel type, but much larger and more costly to operate than the “Beaver.” The zeal of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s officers to get an up-to-date boat caused them to overlook the fact that money and business were not plentiful, and a steamer to operate successfully on the coast must be carefully selected. When they realized their mistake, other work was sought, with the result that she was placed on the San Francisco-Victoria mail route in competition with the California Steam Navigation Company’s steamer “Active,” and a rate war, probably the first on the coast, was started. It ended suddenly, however, when the “Labouchere” on her second trip was wrecked at Point Ray.



Sioux Lookout, Ontario

H.B.C. Store, Sioux Lookout, Ont.

GRAHAM is one of the comparatively small number of H.B.C. “line” posts, i.e., fur trading establishments located close to railway transportation. Graham Post is on the Canadian National Railway at Sioux Lookout, a town of nearly one thousand people and a railroad and lumbering centre.

The name “Sioux Lookout” was taken from the high rocky hill just west of the town. Indian legends relate that this high hill was often used by wandering bands of Sioux warriors, who, ranging far from their Dakota prairies, watched with keen eyes from the top of this hill the narrow gorge from Pelican to Abraham’s Lake as they laid plans to ambush and exterminate the Indians of that district. A fire ranger’s observation tower now stands at the summit of the hill.

Sioux Lookout lies close by Pelican Lake, one of the chain of lakes comprising the original H.B.C. freight route from the Canadian Pacific Railway to inland posts to the northward–Lac Seul, Osnaburgh, Fort Hope and Cat Lake.

The staff of the Company’s present day post at Graham includes the post-manager, three clerks, a deliveryman, bookkeeper and junior office clerk. The Company’s business, in addition to fur trading, is derived from the population[5] of Sioux Lookout and comprises the transient trade to and from the lumber camps located to the east and west of the town.

The wonderful waterways and remarkable scenic beauty of the country surrounding Sioux Lookout rival those of Minaki. Vacationers and camping parties in ever increasing numbers are going to Sioux Lookout every Summer, where nearly everybody has a motor boat or canoe to traverse the wondrous stretches of waterways with their miles and miles of beautiful bays and fine sandy beaches.

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The Fur-ious Medicine Man

By S. A. TAYLOR, Saskatchewan District

THE Medicine Man–his wife was mad,
He had done much to peeve ’er
Ten minks he’d caught; their tails cut off,
Just simply for to grieve ’er.
And when for bear-ly half a day
He’d strived hard to appease her,
He said, “It’s why I call ’er mine
Just so as I can tease ’er.”
And if she don’t improve her ways,
Next time I come home then,
In order to hear what she says,
Again will I mar(r)ten.
Ten of my very choicest mink,
A spell I will cast o’er them;
If that don’t make her stop and think,
I’ll with my jack knife bore them.
Next day whilst at the water hole
His wife fell in the “wotter,”
He said this time I’ll fisher out
Because I think I o’t ter.
As cunning as a fox his wife
Was bound she would get even.
She thought, I cannot take his life
Because of children seven.
Next day she ran off in the bush
She’d had too many drinks.
They searched all night; to scare the wolves
They carried flaming links.
No doubt the wolves of her made hash,
For she was never found.
His marriage to her he mus(t)quash
Her hubby would be bound.
Her carcass you will never find
He said; the wolves have got her
So let’s go home and never mind.
He was an awful rotter.
Now, motto for this pome there’s none
But for it there’s a reason.
Each verse contains some kind of fur
We hope to get this season.
short divider


And Why it Builds Successful Companies
By H. F. HARMAN, Land Commissioner

THE literal meaning of “Esprit de Corps” denotes the common spirit pervading the members of a body or association of persons.

It implies sympathy, enthusiasm, devotion, and jealous regard for the honor of the organization as a whole.

This French phrase was the unwritten but ever present motto or slogan which finally brought about the successful termination of the war for the Allies.

Read slowly the interpretation of the phrase and you will realize its tremendous import when faithfully, persistently exercised.

This is the spirit which, for the past 250 years, has animated so many loyal officials and servants of the “Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson Bay.” Let this generation see to it that we do not become indifferent to this very essential and necessary characteristic.

This spirit should prevail throughout the Company’s service in the Dominion and elsewhere, and when difficulties and differences of opinion arise, as they always will in the natural course of our everyday pursuits, let us all, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, in towns, cities and the farthest interior, just remember to say to ourselves “Esprit de Corps, under all circumstances,” or, as the Governor put it during his recent visit to Canada, “pour a little oil on the machinery when it does not run perfectly and smoothly.” (It’s the only lubricant available these days.)

Try to put yourself in the other fellow’s shoes and do unto him as you would he should do unto you.

If I were asked, “What institutions do you consider have been, and are yet, of the greatest service to Canada?” my reply would be: “Hudson’s Bay Company and Canadian Pacific Railway.” “And what has been the chief factor which has created such an enviable position for these two companies?”–“Esprit de Corps.”

The success of any organization or corporation depends upon this; let us constantly keep this motto before us.


short divider

Lost in the Bush


IT being a bright, cold, frosty morning in the latter part of October, the Indians all off to their hunting grounds and nothing much doing around the post, I thought that I would take a day off and go and put down some marten and fisher traps.

I got away about 7 a.m. and after paddling about six miles I arrived at the end of the lake and took to the bush. Heading in a northerly direction I trudged along, placing snares for fur at various likely looking places, and so interested was I in my work that I did not notice that the day was fast slipping by and night approaching.

It must have been late in the afternoon when I startled a flock of partridges which got away before I could get a shot at them. After following the direction in which they had gone for some distance and failing to locate them, I thought, therefore, that I would hit the trail for home, but after walking for some time I realized that I was lost.

In the meantime, the wind was getting up and low, angry clouds were scudding across the sky, which foretold, as a sailor would say, “a dirty night.” Not expecting to be so long away, I had not brought provisions with me, so was beginning to feel hungry.

The sun had long since disappeared and the night was coming on, so I thought it best to look for a good camping place. I luckily came across a spot with any amount of dry and green wood, so started to make things comfortable for the night. I first of all cut down some green trees and with the branches made a shelter. Then I cut enough dry wood to last the night, made a good fire and lay down in front of it. Fortunately, having a good supply of tobacco and my pipe, I was able to make myself comfortable.

About 8 o’clock, however, things changed for the worse. The thermometer dropped and it began to blow and snow. It snowed more or less all night, and having no blankets or overcoat with me, I was employed the best part of the night in keeping the fire burning. The long night came to an end at last. The wind dropped and the snow ceased falling. Soon the sun appeared above the tree tops, looking warm and big. I was then enabled to get my bearings. I took out my watch and pointed the hour hand towards the sun. Midway between the hour hand and twelve o’clock I knew was south. It does not matter what hour of the day one does this, the result is the same.

By this means I was enabled to get my bearings, and knowing that I had been travelling in a more or less northeasterly direction the day previous I took a southwesterly course. After travelling for six hours through thick bush, climbing over dead falls and crossing many creeks, I struck the lake where I had left my canoe and found it a little over a mile from where I came out to the lake.

Ice was forming on the lake and the country was white with a blanket of snow. Having no mitts, my fingers got numbed from time to time. I soon launched the canoe and made for home. At last the post came in sight, and I can assure you that I received a great welcome. It was not long before I had a moose steak put before me. This, washed down with several cups of hot coffee, soon made me forget my experience of the night.

short divider

The Lure of the North


Poets tell of the sunny climes
And speak in beautiful lines
Of the flowers, the birds and song
Of Summer’s rapturous throng.
They liken it to the freshness of the dew,
They speak of smiling skies of blue.
The awakening bud–the breath of June
Is ever the same old poet’s tune.
But I would speak of the dazzling snows
That only our great Northland knows.
There is a beauty yet untold
A majestic power a poet cannot unfold.
There is a rapture in plains of virgin-white
In the snow-clad mountain height,
And a solemnity so deep–austere
That one feels a God-like presence near.
There is a wonder in the deep, deep silence,
And the mighty wind’s defiance
Mingled with the Spirit of Unconquered Might
And the undefined mystery of the night.
The call of the North I cannot define,
It has a lure of the great–sublime.
Man is a being as yet too small
To explain or resist the Northland’s call.


short divider

Explorations by Adventurers of the H.B.C.

(Continued from December Number)
Arranged by J. PREST

Sometimes more dangerous game than buffalo was encountered. On September 17, Hendry writes, “Two men were miserably wounded by a grizzly bear that they were hunting today. One may recover but the other never can. His arm is torn from his body, one eye gouged out and his stomach ripped open.” The next day the Indian died.

The Assiniboines were marching southwest from the Pas towards the land of the Blackfeet. They were now three hundred miles southwest of the French House. To Hendry’s surprise they came to a large river with high banks that looked exactly like the Saskatchewan. It was the South Branch of the Saskatchewan, where it takes the great bend south of Prince Albert. Canoes had been left far behind. What were the four hundred Assiniboines to do? But the Indians solved the difficulty in less than half a day. Making boats of willow branches and moose parchment skin–like the bull boats of the Missouri–the Assiniboines rafted safely across. The march now turned west toward the Eagle River and Eagle Hills and North Saskatchewan. The Eagle Indians are met and persuaded to bring their furs to York Fort.

As winter approached, the women began dressing the skins for moccasins and clothes. A fire of punk in an earth hole smoked the skins. Beating and pounding and stretching pelts, the squaws then softened the skin. For winter wear, moccasins were left with the fur inside. Hendry remarks how in the fall of the year the women sat in the doors of their wigwams “knitting moose leather into snow shoes” made of seasoned wood. It was October before the Indians of the far western plains were met. These were the famous Blackfeet, for the first time now seen by an English trader. They approached the Assiniboines mounted and armed with bows and spears. Hendry gave them presents to carry to their chief. Hendry notes the signs of mines along the banks of the Saskatchewan. He thought the mineral iron. What he saw was probably an outcropping of coal. The jumping deer he describes as a new kind of goat. As soon as ice formed on the swamps, the hunters began trenching for beaver, which were plentiful beyond the fur traders’ hopes. When, on October 11th, the marchers for the third time came on the Saskatchewan, which the Indians called Waskesaw, Hendry recognized that all the branches were forks of one and the same great river, the Saskatchewan, or, as the French called it, Christinaux. The Indian names for the two branches were Keskatchew and Waskesaw.

For several days the far smoke of an encampment had been visible, southwest. On October the 14th, four riders came out to conduct Hendry to an encampment of three hundred and twenty-two tents of Blackfeet Indians, “pitched in two rows with an opening in the middle, where we were conducted to the leader’s tent.” This was the main tribe of which Hendry had already met the outrunners. “The leader’s tent was large enough to contain fifty persons. He received us seated on a buffalo skin, attended by twenty elderly men. He made signs for me to sit down on his right hand, which I did. Our leaders (the Assiniboines) set several great pipes going the rounds and we smoked according to their custom.

Not one word was spoken. Smoking over, boiled buffalo flesh was served in baskets of bent wood. I was presented with ten buffalo tongues. My guide informed the leader I was sent by the grand leader who lives on the Great Waters to invite his young men down with their furs. They would receive in return, powder, shot, guns and cloth. He made little answer; said it was far off and his people could not paddle. We were then ordered to depart to our tents which we pitched a quarter of a mile outside their lines. Again invited to the leader’s tent the next morning, Hendry heard some remarkable philosophy from the Indian. “The chief told me his tribe never wanted food as they followed the buffalo, but he was informed the natives who frequented the settlements often starved on their journey, ”which was exceedingly true,“ added Hendry. Reciprocal presents closed the interview. The present to the Assiniboine Chief was a couple of[8] girl slaves, one of whom was murdered at York ten years afterwards by an Indian in a fit of jealousy.

Later, Hendry learned that the Assiniboines did not want these Blackfeet of the far west to come down to the Bay. Neither would the Assiniboines hunt except for food. Putting the two facts together, Hendry rightly judged that the Assiniboines acted as middlemen between the traders and the Blackfeet.

By the end of October, Hendry had left the plains and was in a rolling, wooded land northwest of the North Saskatchewan. Here, with occasional moves as the hunting shifted, the Indians wintered: his journal says, “eight hundred and ten miles west of York,” moving back and forward north and south of the river. Eight hundred and ten miles would bring Hendry in the region between the modern Edmonton and Battleford. It is to Hendry’s credit that he remained on good terms with the Assiniboines. If he had been a weakling, he would easily have become the butt of the children who infested the tents like imps, but he hunted with the hunters, trapped with the trappers, and could outmarch the best of them.

When he met Indians hunting for the French forts, with true trader instinct he bribed them with gifts to bring their furs down to Hudson Bay. Almost the entire winter camp moved from bend to bend or branch to branch of the North Saskatchewan, heading gradually eastward. Towards spring, different tribes joined the Assiniboines to go down to York. Among these were “green scalps” and many women captives from those Blackfeet Indians Hendry had met. Each night the scalps hung like flags from the tent poles. The captives were given around camp as presents. One hears much twaddle of the red man’s noble state before he was contaminated by the white man. Hendry saw these tribes of the Far West before they had met any white men but himself, and the disposal of those captives is a criterion of the red man’s noble state. Whenever one was not wanted–the present of a girl, for instance, resented by a warrior’s jealous wife, she was summarily hacked to pieces and not a passing thought given to the matter. The killing of a dog or a beaver caused more comment. On the value of life as a thing of worth in itself, the Indian had absolutely no conception, not so much conception as a domestic dog trained not to destroy life.

(To be continued)

short divider

Montizambert Post News

H. H. BUSCH, Post Manager at Montizambert, widely known in Lake Superior District, recently detailed himself as a “fatigue party” to undertake a task usually considered too weighty for one man to handle. The job was to remove the engine from Mrs. Busch’s motor boat.

Once started, however, his pride would not let him quit. He sailed into the craft with a hammer, two wrenches, a file and a pair of chisels. Chips began to fly; nuts and bolts and ejaculations filled the air.

Some hours later the clerk saw our doughty factor wrestling at the water’s brim, trying to carry the big engine to the fur house. One spectator remarks, “A fog was rising from him like that from a hot spring in winter.” After a long tussle he and the engine arrived at the fur house.

At lunch, however, our factor was a changed man; his appetite was way below normal. And all afternoon the “sap” appeared to have all gone out of him. For once, Mr. Busch had tackled a job too big for him, but he saw it through.–A.D.H.

short divider

Lectures on H.B.C. Operations

THE Canadian Watchman Press, Publishers and Booksellers, of Oshawa, Ontario, have recently been holding meetings of their employees where lectures, illustrated with maps and charts, are given, dealing with the operations of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the Northland.

short divider

“Are caterpillars good to eat?” asked little Tommy at the dinner table.

“No,” said the father; “what makes you ask a question like that while we are eating?”

“You had one on your lettuce, but it has gone now,” replied Tommy.


short divider

A Remarkable Trip by U.S.A. Airmen in a Free Balloon

From New York to Moose Factory, James Bay, Ontario, 820 Miles in 25 Hours

By J. BEVERIDGE, Moose Factory

THREE U. S. A. Airmen left Rockaway Station, Long Island, New York, on Monday, 13th December, in a free balloon, with the intention of flying across the State of New York.

After ascending, and while crossing New York City, a storm caught them, and drove them off their course. Being at an altitude of 6000 feet, and above the clouds, they were unable to see the ground.

The country over which they were flying was high, necessitating the discharge of ballast to prevent the balloon striking high land.

Having no chart, and, therefore, losing their bearings, they were unable to tell over which part of the country they were flying.

On Tuesday, December 14th, after being in the air about 24 hours, the men thought they heard a dog bark, and through a rift in the clouds they saw a house; they then decided to descend.

The pilot opened the valve, and the balloon commenced to descend at a rapid speed. The wind had carried the balloon beyond the place where they had seen the house, and there was nothing but trees on which to land. All the remaining ballast was thrown overboard to prevent the basket crashing on the trees; thermos flasks and all the furnishings were cast over. But their descent had been too rapid to be arrested so easily, and the basket collided with the trees. Too much gas had been released to allow the balloon to ascend again. The basket continued to drag through the bush till at last the balloon came to a halt tangled on the side of a tree.

The time of landing was about 2 p.m. Taking a southerly course by their compass, which they had managed to retain, they commenced to walk through the bush, but made little headway owing to the dense mass of foliage, spruce trees, willows and marshy land. They built a fire, cooked one of three carrier pigeons. This was the only food they had had since leaving New York.

Making themselves as comfortable as possible, they rested for the night but had little sleep. Keeping the fire going all night was the only means of being warm.

On Wednesday, the 15th, they commenced their slow progress once more through the bush. The serious nature of their situation was only dawning on them at this time, and finding no house, nor any traces of dogs, they began thinking their minds had been playing them tricks.

No food whatever was available, so they had to make their two remaining pigeons last indefinitely, not knowing when they would reach civilization.

As their strength was waning, the oldest man of the party had discarded nearly all his clothes keeping only his flying suit and underclothes. He was nearly “all in” and kept falling down, but the older of the other two kept them all going, knowing that to keep going was their only means of salvation. To stop would have meant being frozen. Moss was their only food this day. Again they made a fire and rested for the night.

On December 16th, Thursday, they set off again, travelling in a southerly direction. A second pigeon was devoured. At last they struck a creek and they were thankful to escape from the bush, walking on the ice being much easier. They travelled all day but discerned no signs of human life. The usual nightly performance was gone through, and each thought it all was rather hopeless, but “life is sweet.”

Friday, December 17th, they commenced their slow and wearisome journey once more, walking on the creek; but at last the creek joined the river and here they perceived sleigh tracks. Noting the direction it had travelled by the imprint of the dog’s feet, they followed the trail. About noon they sighted the sleigh, and the younger of the three commenced to hurry in an endeavour to overtake the sleigh. At last the man, an Indian trapper, observed that someone was endeavouring to overtake him, but, instead of waiting as would be expected, the Indian commenced to hurry. It appears that he was very frightened at the airman’s uniform or his sudden appearance. The young officer managed at last to overtake the Indian, due to the slow progress of the dogs.

The Indian was at last made to understand that the men were starving and lost, so he took the young airman to his house which happened to be at hand, and was, in fact, on Moose Island. A team was sent for the other two airmen, and all were brought to the Company’s Post, where they were thawed out, given a good meal, and put off to bed.

The airmen’s footwear consisted of ordinary leather boots, but thanks to the mild spell and little snow there were no bad effects. “All’s well that ends well.” Now they are looking forward to the two hundred miles of snowshoeing to the main line and let their wives and families know they are safe and sound.

The names of the airmen are:

Lieutenant Farrell, senior; Lieutenant Hinton, the one who was responsible for keeping up the courage of the party, and who was pilot on the N.C. 4 when Commander Read made the famous Trans-Atlantic flight; Lieutenant Kloor, the only free balloon pilot in the party, and who overtook the Indian.

The trip was, I believe, a record flight for a free balloon, 820 miles, as the crow flies, in 25 hours.



Issued Every Now and Then in the Interests of Those in the Service of the Hudson’s Bay Company


The Beaver

A Journal of Progress

Copyright, 1921, by the Hudson’s Bay Company

Address all communications to Editor,
“THE BEAVER,” York and Main Streets,
Winnipeg, Canada

Vol. I               FEBRUARY, 1921               No. 5

Never a “Wild West” in Canada

CANADA never knew a “Wild West.” We are forced to turn elsewhere for “penny thriller” and “dime novel” material, based on frontier lawlessness and bloodshed.

Three agencies have been mainly responsible for the peaceful and prosperous peopling of the West. Two of them, the R.N.W.M.P. and the Hudson’s Bay Company, have long ago received recognition for their part in this marvel of empire-building. But there is another whose achievement is but little known or lightly heralded.

It is WOMAN. Wives and daughters of the bearded pioneers who conquered Canada’s plains trekked west with them; lived in lowly sod-houses; shared all hardships; made instant Home wherever the oxen were unyoked. These women helped tame a wilderness, and wherever they went was law and order.

Elsewhere in Western America, the hotbloods, the blacksheep and fortune hunters sloughed off from a rising civilization went into the West without the good influence of womenfolks–and straight-way became “bad men,” “killers” and “road-agents.”

Because nearly every early Canadian in the West had found good women nearby, there was no “Wild West.” And the influence of Canadian women is still alive–on the farms, in the factories, the stores and in the modern civic life of this oldtime buffalo kingdom of the Northwest.

Abroad at Home

WHAT has become of the old-fashioned winter? We would like to know the feelings of that self-exiled band who fled the wholesome prairies of Canada last fall, as they open up their home papers on some Californian strand and read of the ice famine in Iceland; of the hens laying and the dandelions sprouting in Canada, in December; of outdoor swimming at Vancouver; of spring-like mornings in Manitoba, with birds singing and school boys laying off overcoats at play.


ENTHUSIASM is the spark which fires the fuel of ability and personality to do its work. Without Enthusiasm, these qualities are dormant and ineffective–mere potentialities of power.

A man may overcome error; he may lack judgment and acquire it; he may make mistakes and remedy them; but he can do none of these things without enthusiasm.

To have enthusiasm is a matter of “morale”; if you believe in yourself and believe in the things you do, Enthusiasm is sure to ignite your dormant power and bring out your capacities to their utmost accomplishment. Conquer doubt, Enthusiasm’s greatest foe.

Be enthusiastic in the doing of even the smallest job!


NO INSTITUTION ever amounted to anything until some man or group of men back of it established an Ideal and set out to attain it. The realization of any Ideal, or the success of any business which is struggling toward an Ideal, requires conviction. Skepticism, cynicism and pessimism never made a dollar for anyone.

H.B.C. has an Ideal and that is to serve. Too often, indeed, this is said by business firms in a trite, meaningless, parrot-fashion way; but not so with the Hudson’s Bay Company.


With the Company, to serve means to satisfy. Real satisfaction results only from high quality merchandise and high standards of business dealing. The honor of H.B.C. is bound up with these, because the Company established them as Ideals centuries ago.

The Wilderness Is Shrinking

“FLY TO FORT NORMAN” is the bold headline of a startling advertisement in Western newspapers, “. . . in absolute safety and comfort; flying time about eight hours each way,” continues this epochal announcement.

Commercial enterprise has brought the air-boat to its aid in penetrating the fastnesses of the Northland where, reports say, oil will soon be gushing. But yesterday, this thousand-mile journey from McMurray down toward the Arctic Ocean was achieved only by toilsome weeks of tedious travel. What must the astonishment of leather-hued rivermen be to view these winged canoes darting from civilization to Norman almost “between meals.” How that great wilderness shrinks and becomes smaller. The terror and loneliness of it, the hardships of it begin already to pass away.

There are men living who labored over Chillkoot and spent months on the ghastly Klondike trail, and they must marvel at the advantages given by science and invention to the prospectors of 1921.

The Key to Progress

TO the plumber, the bathroom is the most beautiful room in the house. To him, pipes and joints and taps are more interesting than Chippendales and Wedgwood.

Is your office, your desk, your work the most attractive and interesting in the whole institution–to YOU? Whatever your situation or task in the great H.B.C. organization, endeavor to find such beauty, charm and satisfaction in the business of your own little “work-shop” that the seduction of “greener fields” may not deceive you. The greatest symptom of individual progress is a sincere love for the work in hand; advancement follows naturally upon a faithful apprenticeship.

The Speed Game

HOCKEY, king of speed games, is Canada’s national sport. The pace of it, the skill and thrill of it appeal to the youth of Canada. No other boys in the world could ever play hockey quite as Canadian youngsters do. Hockey has developed to suit a temperament which expresses itself most completely in this game. It is the spirit of Vimy Ridge and Festubert that crops out strongest in a fast rush down the ice with the puck. The vigor, stamina, fearlessness and self reliant manliness demanded by the game are natural, because the Canadian came first and then hockey developed as his characteristic sport.

What Is Your Best?

IF one does his best every day, it is soon noticeable that what was his best at one time is not now his best by any means. Practice in hard work never fails to enlarge the capacity for hard work. It is a natural law that to be strong one must not only possess muscles but must use them constantly.

There is an immense “shake-up” and “shake-down” going on in commerce and industry all over the world. Today the time of trial for individual efficiency has arrived. The bricklayer who lays more bricks than the “average” bricklayer and the man who can raise his level best a little higher every day is the man who will weather the storm.

Covering a Wide Field

THE BEAVER goes to every H.B.C. employee at the retail stores from Winnipeg to the Coast; at all branches of the wholesale department, including the candy factory at Winnipeg; at every fur trade post and outpost in all provinces and the Northwest Territories; at the Land Department, Winnipeg, and its branches in Edmonton and Victoria; at the Executive, Accounting, Audit and Publicity offices in Winnipeg; at the Eastern Buying offices, Montreal and New York; at the London offices and fur warehouse; and to retired officers of the Company, members of the Canadian Advisory Committee, the London Board, the Governor and Committee.


The Beaver, by special request, exchange and subscription, also reaches a large number of leading Canadian and United States business concerns, prominent citizens, government officials, editors, and the principal libraries of the continent.

The Beaver is a great “traveller.” It is doing a good work. Please keep these facts in mind as H.B.C. employees and associate editors and correspondents of our journal.

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New Quarters of H.B.C. Executive, Accounting and Audit Departments were occupied at 208 Main Street, Winnipeg, January 14th. The quaint old building originally housed the general offices of the land department more than two decades ago, but most recently was used by the Adanac Club of Winnipeg. The Company has always owned both building and site but several tenants have occupied the premises during the past twenty years.

is the root-idea of Life Insurance. Men join together that ALL may bear, without disaster, loss that would fall with crushing weight upon one alone.

Obtain particulars of this helpful alliance. While you are doing so, procure particulars of THE BEST THERE IS in Life Insurance. And the best Policies–by the proof of ACTUAL RESULTS–are those of
The Great-West Life Assurance Company
Dept. “D 30”        Head Office: WINNIPEG
A postal will bring full information by mail. State age.


“A Type That Made H.B.C. Leadership”


ERNEST RENOUF, who has been appointed manager of Fort George Post James Bay District, appears in the photograph. Mr. Renouf joined the H.B.C. service as apprentice clerk in 1910, served in James Bay District until November, 1916, when he enlisted for active service overseas; and since September, 1919, he has been stationed at Moose Factory.



(Continued from last issue)
By N. A. Howland

The only other boat besides mine that remained above the rapid was the York boat, drawn back up to the Island on the cable to re-load and continue the trip to McMurray if necessary.

We Cut Loose to Shoot the Rapids

Gathering my crew and sundry other loose boatmen lying around, we embarked on the scow for the short but swift journey, there being sixteen souls aboard. We shoved off, the steersman standing on the after-deck, alertly watching the stream. He worked the boat into the passage by means of the sweep, which is a massive oar protruding half of the scow’s length over and pivoted to the stern with a steel pin. This acted as a rudder, but twice as effectively as the ordinary rudder, because of its length, with the additional advantage that being movable up, down and to either side it offers no resistance to the rocks, therefore cannot break. We travelled slowly at first, but gradually gaining impetus, the scow was soon tossing in the boiling waters, travelling with the speed of an express train. It trembled from stem to stern with the shock of the waves. There was an exhilarating sensation with an element of danger in it.

The Steersman Distinguished Himself

The performance of the steersman was admirable. It was difficult to believe that this lithe, active fellow who with powerful arms handled the heavy sweep with such ease, bearing down on the handle to lift the blade clear of the water, jumping from one gunwale to the other with a speed and agility truly astonishing, could be the same slow-moving figure that idly lounged on his oar all the previous way.

We Made the Big Eddy Safely

He seemed to guide the boat as by instinct and with such unerring skill, twisting and turning her among the boulders in the roughest of the water through the narrow channel, that we had hardly time to realize what was happening before the restless figure in the stern resumed his usual listless attitude and we were riding in the Big Eddy. At the cry of “Out oars,” we were quickly rowed ashore by the remainder of the crew.

Pulling the Scow Back by Cable

After dropping passengers, no time was lost in endeavoring to pick up the cable and pull back to the island. Luck was against us. Repeatedly the scow was swept away before the log attached to the end of the rope could be caught, though we knew it was being tossed around on the outer rim of the eddy. After battling the current for an hour the men put me ashore. There were still some matters requiring attention on the island, so I walked back, ferrying across again above the rapids. When I reached the landing place the crew had just managed to secure the cable and were being pulled up.

After loading the rails and car wheels there was nothing to hinder our departure. My work was done.

The next eighty miles to our destination was a succession of rapids, but none bad enough at this time to necessitate unloading. The journey was continued next morning, the previous evening having been spent by all hands in a futile attempt to dislodge the tug “Crester.” It was apparent that nothing but a further rise of water would move her off, so we left a force of men to help Captain Barber out of his difficulty and continued on our way.

We Carried Russian Passengers

Cornwall had previously arranged with me to take some of the Russians as passengers, his boat being too crowded for rough water work. Thus it happened that thirty of these smelly[14] gentlemen were transferred to me. They were not desirable company on account of their odour. Besides, they were afraid of the rapids. The weather, which ever since our leaving Athabasca Landing had been perfect, now changed. The bright sky was obscured by clouds. It rained intermittently all day. The Russians huddled themselves up under my tarpaulins. They presented an inexpressibly comic appearance to me, as they sat around for the most part completely covered up, dismal faces now and then peering out from unexpected places to survey the scenes. When the boat hit a few waves, the lumpy canvas would contort and wriggle all over in anguish, uncouth muffled sounds arising. Louison, who rarely smiled, took particular pains to seek out the worst water. He grinned broadly whenever we struck a big wave.

The Arrival at Fort McMurray

Small white store
H.B.C. Store at Fort McMurray, Alberta

Next day this eventful voyage ended. We arrived at Fort McMurray before noon. There was one particularly handsome fellow among my passengers, who attracted me by his refined appearance, but he spoke no English. The lad with many of his companions went in to bathe in the Clearwater River, which joins the Athabasca at this point. In front of the village it is very shallow. This man went out too far. There was a hole into which he fell and could not swim out. He was drowned before it was possible for a boat to reach him. A drag was improvised out of a two-by-four to which were attached cords fitted with fish hooks. After six hours’ labor our mournful task was successfully accomplished and he was laid to rest in a new outfit of store clothes in accordance with the Mohomedan faith. Thus for a week was my journeying at an end.

(To be continued)

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(Continued from December issue)


BUFFALO were plentiful in my first years and I have seen thousands of them. Many of the old freighters have told me that very often when the buffalo were travelling south that they were compelled to stop their brigades of carts and camp for one or two days until the great herds passed. Of course the freighters picked out the choice ones, or as many as they required, for meat supply on the trip.

I saw where buffalo in the fall had tried to cross the Saskatchewan River, and had broken through the ice. The animals behind had forced the others on, trampling them to death. Carcasses of dead buffalo completely bridged the river, the remainder of the herd passing over them. Buffalo always followed the leader like sheep. There were millions of them in that part of the country and all disappeared in a few years. Today there is a herd of about two hundred and fifty animals in the MacKenzie River valley. They have not increased in numbers. The Siberian wolves get among them continually and destroy many of the calves. There is another herd in the government park at Wainwright, Saskatchewan, which is thriving and increasing.

After the buffalo had disappeared, the plains Indians, who numbered many thousands at that time, were reduced to starvation. Many of them died, and the Canadian government of that day was compelled to gather them all into reservations throughout the country, and ration them. Living in small log houses, with only one room, was a great change from their roaming, open-air life on the plains, and they became afflicted with all kinds of diseases, consumption being their greatest destroyer.

The number of horses an Indian owned was the gauge of his wealth. Some of them had as many as three hundred head, of which quite a large number were in the buffalo-runner class. A horse in that class was never put to any other work. He had to be extra long-winded, swift and tough as steel,[15] able to keep pace with a stampeding herd until his rider had shot down ten or fifteen animals. As a rule, these horses stood about fourteen and a half hands high and weighed nearly a thousand pounds. Their sires were usually imported thoroughbreds. The most of that breed of horses have gone to the “happy hunting grounds” where the Indian says the buffalo have gone. The gun used was a single barrel, muzzle-loading, flint-lock shot gun, using number twenty-eight ball instead of shot. Skill in riding was necessary and quickness at re-loading.

Fort Ellice, where I was assigned to duty, was built on the south bank of the valley of the Assiniboine River. It was a beautiful location with charming scenery, about three miles from where the Qu’Appelle River empties into the Assiniboine. The Assiniboine Valley was about two miles wide and that of the Beaver Creek about one thousand yards. The Fort was built on the top level between the two, on a beautiful plain dotted with little poplar bluffs, with numerous springs of gushing water up at the top of the level in the face of the banks. The river in the centre of the valley winds its tortuous way to empty itself later on into the Red River, thence to Lake Winnipeg, thence to Hudson Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Fort itself was built in a large square, the big front gates being about thirty yards from the edge of the bank which was very precipitous at this point, and well wooded with small trees, ferns and saskatoon bushes.

On one side of the square was a long row of one-storey log buildings, with thatched roofs all joined with one another. Our carpenter shop was at one end of this row and the blacksmith’s shop at the other. The doors or entrances all faced to the Fort. There was the men’s house, the mechanics’ house, the native servants’ and dog drivers’ houses, also the married servants’ houses, each consisting of one large room.

A door opened into each from the outside and there was no other means of entrance to any of the other houses in that long row of buildings, except by its own door or down the chimney. Two tiers of rough bunks round the walls represented the sleeping accommodations. A large mud chimney and open fire-place provided ventilation. We did all cooking at the open fireside.

On the other side of the square, in an equally long row, built in the same style, were warehouses, ration houses, dry meat and pemmican house, flour, pork and beef house, and a well-appointed dairy, with a good cellar and lots of ice. These buildings were one and a-half storeys high and were without chimneys or fire-places.

At one side of the big gate in front was the trading store and district office, and on the other side the fur store and reserve stock warehouse. Each of these buildings was very long and substantial, fully one and a-half storeys high.

The main building in the Fort was the Factor’s dwelling or the “big house,” as it was called. This was the quarters of the officers and clerks. It stood well back in the square, its front being in line with the end of the long rows of buildings on either side, so that every house in the Fort could be seen from its windows. The “big house” was a two and a-half storey building, with a large kitchen behind, built from the same plan as the officers’ dwellings in Fort Garry, and known as a Red River frame building.

It had a fine balcony and verandah. The main entrance was in the centre of the building opening into a large recreation and council hall.

boat at shore being loaded
Carrying supplies aboard an H.B.C. flatboat or scow on the Athabasca River. The scow has remained one of the principal links in the Company’s chain of transportation in this district where tumbling waters make steam or motor boat operation precarious.

The Factor’s private office was at the right, and the parlour or sitting-room[16] to the left. The large mess-room, dining-room, and private bedrooms were in the rear. Upstairs was a large hall and reading-room, and bedrooms for the clerks. The upper floor was heated with large Carron stoves, as well as the hall downstairs, and the trading shop and district office.

There were four fire-places on the ground floor and another in the kitchen, as well as a large cooking range. A splendid mud oven stood outside for baking bread and cooking extra large roasts. There was also a fine well close at hand with the proverbial oaken bucket attached to a rope and chain. The “big house” and kitchen were thatched, and all the houses were mudded and white-washed with lime. They presented a good appearance from a distance.

A four foot sidewalk ran all around the square, and another one from the front gate to the front door of the “big house.” There was a nice vegetable, flower and kitchen garden of about an acre behind the house. The flagstaff stood at the front gate, and the belfry stood outside the Factor’s private office. While a high stockade enclosed the whole square, so when the big gates were locked at night there was no danger of losing any scalps before morning.

(To be continued)

Igloos, the bungalows of Eskimo-land, on the east coast of Hudson Bay. No, that is not a destroyer in the distance. It is a sleigh filled with eatables placed high on a stage of snow blocks out of reach of the vandal dogs.

Captain Freakley Married

CAPTAIN NORMAN FREAKLEY, Superintendent of Transport for the Company, with headquarters at Montreal, came to Winnipeg last month to claim a bride from the head office staff of the Fur Trade Department. The captain was wedded December 30th to Miss Frances Menagh, at St. George’s Church, Winnipeg. Miss Menagh, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Menagh of Cork, Ireland, had been engaged with the Company at Winnipeg for several years.


Two Ends to Every Stick

By J. M. GREEN, Portage la Loche.

Oh, it’s easy for to sit and grouch when letters don’t arrive;
Letters you’ve been waitin’ for and letters that you prize;
And you sit and cuss the postman, and you cuss the bloomin’ mail,
And maybe you cuss the writer and pile it good and thick,
But have you ever stopped to think of his end of the stick?
You can sit in cosy rooms back home, the Post does all the rest.
Perhaps to post a letter you walk a block at best.
And then you sit and wonder why the devil don’t he write?
To keep us all awaitin’, it’s a shame–it isn’t right.
And you growl like a grizzly. Sure; you’d make an Indian sick,
Just because you don’t know anything of his end of the stick.
Suppose the nearest mail box was a hundred miles or more.
And no one but yourself to pack the letters to your door;
And suppose there ain’t no street cars, no motors, not a road.
Just a team of mangy mongrels to help you pack your load;
And its forty below zero, and your feet both feel like brick,
I wonder what would happen were that your end of the stick?
And s’pose the mail man ain’t arrived an’ spring’s set in at last,
And there ain’t no snow but just the ice arotten’ good and fast;
And you know to miss the mail man means to wait three months or so
Before you read a letter, and you don’t want for to go,
But you can’t wait any longer and your heart is mighty sick,
I wonder would you grumble, would you grin, or would you stick?



MR. JAMES YOUNG originally hails from Scotland, and comes to us from the Macleod store to take charge of the dry goods department. Mr. Young has had wide experience, both in Canada and in the Old Land.

MR. P. K. SANGSTER, of New Westminster, B.C., has joined the Lethbridge staff as Advertising Manager. Mr. Sangster was with the I. H. Smith Co., of New Westminster for twelve years, excepting for the period when he was overseas. Mr. Sangster was one of the fortunate Canadian exchanged prisoners from Germany. He was picked up on the field in the Paschendaele affair, having had four inches of bone blown out of one of his legs. Mr. Sangster was a prisoner in Germany eight months prior to his exchange.

AFTER four and one-half years with the Lethbridge store, Miss Annie Hurst was presented with a pair of Hudson’s Bay blankets and linen towels prior to her marriage to Mr. J. Wilsoncroft on January 17th in St. Mary’s Church of England. A reception was held in the evening at the home of the bride’s parents.

MRS. MARS, manager of the ladies’ ready-to-wear department, recently had the pleasure of a visit from her sister, Mrs. Carney and Dr. Carney, of Great Falls, Montana.


THE Nelson “STORE BABY” is leaving very soon. She is supposed to be going into another branch of work, but there are those who think it is another style of work altogether. A little bird claims she is a good cook and excellent housekeeper.

THE HUDSONIA SOCIAL CLUB is continuing its good work of last year. Several card and dance parties have been held. A big evening open to the public will have been held by the time this goes to press. Last year, a similar affair was the hit of the season.



They Are All Deserving of Prizes and Deciding Winners Was Difficult

PROMISING people indeed are the little pink-toed, plump-jowled babies of H.B.C. fathers who occupy the centre of our interest this month. They are a “full-stage” attraction in this issue of The Beaver. Find them over the page in bonnie ensemble; all at that happy stage of life when affectation has utterly no power over dress, expression or gesture. None of them has been specially posed for the occasion; some were snapped at most unconventional moments.

There is no sign of race suicide here. Yet this showing is only a partial one; we publish only those winning prizes or deserving special mention; and in the limited time allowed for photographs, there was no opportunity to hear from a great many points in the far northern districts.

If we could have got them all in this group, surely this would be a “Baby Show” to evoke the plaudits of the greatest “baby experts.” Weaklings are notably absent amongst H.B.C. children, and the judges of the group of H.B.C. infants presented in this issue are firmly inclined to the opinion that H.B.C. babes of the types shown score just a little higher than babes ordinarily pictured.

The limitation of the prizes to three in number proved a real hardship for the judges, as it was considered the lot of them possessed prize-winning qualities. Deciding on the winners was difficult, but awards were finally made as follows:

First Prize

Silver mounted comb and brush set awarded to Miss Bettie Everitt, daughter of Mr. B. A. Everitt, of the H.B.C. land department, Winnipeg.

Second Prize

Sterling silver thumb spoon, awarded to Kindersley Lidstone, son of Mr. I. T. Lidstone, buyer of crockery H.B.C. store at Kamloops, British Columbia. This fine baby was born on the day of the 250th Anniversary Celebration at Kamloops and was named for Governor Sir Robert Kindersley by special arrangement.

Third Prize

Sterling and ivory bell rattle, awarded to Kathleen Flora Gould, daughter of Mr. Gould, of H.B.C. Edmonton Store.


Presenting a Bevy of Fine Babies whose fathers are members of H.B.C. Staffs
Catherine Mary Bartleman
Age 9½ Months–Wt. 22 Lbs.

Margaret Rhoda Milne
Age 7 Months–Wt. 19 Lbs.

Betty Iris Everitt
Age 9 Months–Weight 27 Lbs.

Margaret Mitchell
Age 12 Months–Wt. 20 Lbs.

Frank Richard Rogers
Aged 2 months–Wt. 9¾ Lbs.

Stanley Philip Oakes
Age 13 Months

Kathleen Flora Gould
Age 3½ Months–Weight 18 lbs.

Lilian Jessie Blake
Age 2 Months–Wt. 11¾ Lbs.

Kindersley Lidstone
Age 8 Months–Wt. 22½ Lbs.

Margaret L. Coulter
Age 9½ Months–Wt. 18½ Lbs.

Elfreda Grace Sewell
Age 7½ Months–Weight 19 Lbs.

Mary Geraldine Wilmot
Age 5½ Months

Sydney Roy Upton
Age 9 Months–Wt. 20 Lbs.

James Arthur Hillman
Age 11 Months–Wt. 23 Lbs.

Edward Ross Thompson
Age 7 Months–Weight 22 Lbs.

Wallace Beatty MacDonald
Age 12 Months–Weight 27 Lbs.

Gwynne Shapter
Age 16 Months–Wt. 27 Lbs.

William E. Andrews
Age 9 Months

Bernard Philip Jones
Age 18 Months–Wt. 25 Lbs.

Bonnie Gibson
Age 16 Months–Wt. 35 Lbs.


H.B.C. Helped Settlers Remain on Land During “Lean Years”

Liberal and Constructive Policy of Company in Disposal of Its Farm Land Estate in Canada Has Obtained Agriculturists for the West and Kept Them

PROBABLY no institution or organization in Canada has done more towards pioneering and paving the way for settlement than the Hudson’s Bay Company. From the very beginning, when the first white settlers began to arrive, agricultural lands were made available for settlement by the Company in the Red River Valley, and as the demand increased, prairie lands were surveyed into regular townships, and lands accruing to the Company were made available for sale at reasonable prices, and every inducement and encouragement given to agriculturists to settle thereon.

There were, of course, in those days, lean years as well as years of abundant crops, but prices which could be realized for grains were usually very low, and facilities for exporting were quite inadequate.

There were periods of depression and sometimes hardship, when the early settlers and purchasers of the Company’s lands were unable to meet their interest payments, and in some cases the farmers could not even meet their taxes. During these difficult times, when lands were not by any means of such great value as they are today, and land was a doubtful security, the Hudson’s Bay Company never wavered in its confidence in the future of the West, and in order to assist in maintaining the optimism of the settlers, the Company did not unduly press for the liquidation of its purchasers’ obligations, but gave every encouragement to the farmers who suffered reverses, would even advance taxes to tide them over until crop conditions improved and they were able to meet their commitments.

These conditions obtained fairly often, and by reason of unbounded faith in the future of the prairie provinces by the Company’s officials, hundreds of settlers and agriculturists were retained for Western Canada, who in other circumstances would have abandoned their farms and left Canada for other parts.

Long before Dominion Government Surveyors were sent west to sub-divide the prairies into rectangular townships under the existing system of Dominion Government Surveys, and previous to the surrender of Rupert’s Land by the Company to the Crown, the Company arranged to have laid off farming plots fronting on the Red River, running east and west to a distance back of two or more miles.

The first regular sale of farming land by the Company under the Government system of surveys is designated as sale No. 1, the land having been sold to William McKechnie, of Emerson, Man. The sale was negotiated on the 4th of August, 1879, covering the whole of section 8, township 1, range 3, east of the principal meridian, containing 640 acres, at the price of $6.00 per acre, the total consideration being $3,840.00, which in those days was considered very fair compensation for such land.

In the present day administration of the Company’s land, the same sound policy prevails, and by this time the Company has sold many thousands of parcels and continues to make sales, preferring always to deal with and sell to bona-fide settlers.

No purchaser of Hudson’s Bay Company’s farming lands who has made an honest endeavour to cultivate the land and use it for legitimate farming purposes has ever had just cause for complaint in the treatment he has received at the Company’s hands. Lean years are bound to come, and adversity as the result in some cases is bound to follow, and when it is fairly established to the Company that the farmer has done his part within reason, he has not been unduly pressed for liquidation of his indebtedness.


Under the regular terms of Hudson’s Bay farm land sales, the contracts mature in seven years, but it sometimes happens that, on account of adversity over which the purchaser has no control, it has taken him from twenty to twenty-five years before he has been able to fully meet his obligations and obtain title. The Company has always been very patient and lenient with this class of purchaser. This method of dealing with settlers and farmers is fundamentally sound, and instead of a dissatisfied purchaser abandoning his interest and leaving the West, he ultimately becomes the possessor of his farm, is retained to Canada, and is a worthy asset to the community to which he belongs. The Company’s persistent policy in dealing with its estate in Canada is fully in keeping with its traditions in every branch of its business, and according to the Company’s Land Commissioner, “the policy of the directors, as above outlined, has been and is still one of the chief reasons why the Company has thousands of satisfied land purchasers, customers and friends with whom it has had dealings during the past forty-two years.

“To date the Company has disposed of over three and a half million acres of farming lands in the prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and sales continue to be effected at the rate of approximately 20,000 acres per month. Practically all the lands are sold for development and farming purposes.

“The Company will continue its sound, proven policy always preserving, under all circumstances, its established name for fair dealing, with the primary object always of contributing, in the fullest measure possible within its powers, towards the up-building of Western Canada, and incidentally doing its quota towards the building, enlargement and ever increasing integrity of the British Empire.”

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Dinorwic Post News

REV. CANON LOFTHOUSE, of Kenora, was a guest over the week-end at the manager’s house.

TOM CHIEF (brother of Chief William Chief), one of the oldest Indians trapping here, died in St. Joseph Hospital, Kenora, on January 8th, 1921. He was one of our medalists, and a faithful hunter for the Company.

“THE BEAVER” is awaited with great interest by the members of the staff at this Post. It is getting better every issue. We would like to see more news of the fur trade, in this section of the magazine, as this news is of great interest to all in the fur trade department of the Company; so all members of it should get busy and gather up all the news they can. The advertising of the Company by its employees is another good thing, so all together for it, “The harder the pull, the higher the flag of the H.B.C.

L. R. JOHNSON (H.B.M.) was confined to his bed three days last month with a severe cold.

GAME OVERSEER W. H. Martin, of Kenora, paid us an official visit last month.

MRS. FRED NAGLE, of Fort William, mother of Mrs. L. R. Johnson, was visiting her for a few days in the month of December.

We Cannot Stand Still

General Manager, Calgary Retail

IF there is no forward movement, we must slide back, as the power of gravity ever grips where motion has ceased. The business, great or small, that comes to a stand-still with a smile of self-satisfaction is heading for the shelf of dry rot. Every business must strive in its present year to beat that of the past, to beat the turnover, the service, the public good-will and the net results. The very strife after these ends develops the initiative, broadens the aspect and reproduces better men; therefore do not hesitate, never stop, but always keep climbing.


How Shipping Rates on Goods Affect Stores’ Salespower

What Change Should be Made in Proposed New Freight Classification (No. 17)?

Editor’s Note.–A circular letter, dated, 7th January, from one of the best organized trade associations of Canada, indicates that meetings are to be held soon to consider the application of the proposed new freight classification (No. 17).

THE latterday high cost of transportation so vitally affects the salespower of the Company’s department stores (as well as other wholesale or retail stores in Western Canada) that favourable groupings of certain classes of goods under the proposed new freight classification (No. 17) are considered important in view of the Company’s great problem of distribution.

While the new schedule is under consideration, H.B.C. traffic men will see the advantage of working to secure a spread of two classes between less-than-carload and full carload ratings on drygoods. It is reported also that every effort will be made to convince carriers that certain lines of drygoods should be listed separately or in greatly restricted groups, instead of being carried, as at present, under extensive groups. It is apparent that an important saving for H.B.C. stores would result from such re-classification in view of the 35 per cent. difference between first and third class and first and second class ratings.

Under the proposed new freight classification (No. 17), certain drygoods shipped in carlots will take a second class rate. The present classification (No. 16) on such drygoods gives no advantage in rate for carloads.

Why classification No. 17 (under consideration) proposes to allow a difference of only one class between L.C.L. and carloads of this commodity is not clear, inasmuch as for other lines of goods a difference of two classes is allowed when shipped by the carload. Drygoods certainly should be entitled to take third class rate in carloads.

Furthermore, both the present classification (No. 16) and proposed classification (No. 17) arbitrarily “lump” a great number of lines of merchandise in a special class without giving a special carload rate on them (see page 77, item 76, No. 16; page 97, item 60, No. 17).

One of the aims of the proposed new classification (No. 17) is to place a reasonable restriction on the indiscriminate mixing of merchandise which have a basic difference of origin. Accordingly, to get the greatest advantage from this classification for the drygoods business, those whose interests are affected will naturally insist upon a reasonable minimum weight for carloads–say 18,000 pounds. This would probably mean eliminating, of course, drygoods “not otherwise specified” and substituting certain lines of drygoods which would be entitled to mix and be eligible for third class rate in carloads.

A few headings are here suggested for such specified lines:

ALL KNITTED GOODS–Wool or cotton, such as underwear (men’s, women’s and children’s), hose and half hose (wool and cotton), sweaters, toques, heavy wool gloves. These should be allowed to mix and make up a carload.

CLOTH–and garments made from same.

VELVETEENS, VELOURS, cotton velvets and cotton comforters, should be allowed to mix with cotton piece goods.

Blankets and Boots could not mix with other lines.

Concerted effort on the part of shippers should result in these reasonable, logical and necessary changes being made in the proposed new classification (No. 17). In the case of the Company, the adoption of suggested amendments along above lines would result in marked savings on freight charges for at least three of the four larger H.B.C. stores.

It may be said that the Company in some instances could not make up carloads of its own merchandise. Granted that this is possible, there are a large number of forwarders in every city of importance and it is not difficult to have smaller packages included at carload rates.


Load (lbs.) Class From To Freight Saving
18,000 1st L.C.L. Montreal Winnipeg $520.20
18,000 3rd C.L. Montreal Winnipeg 347.40 $172.80
18,000 1st L.C.L. Montreal Calgary & Edmonton $894.60
18,000 3rd C.L. Montreal Winnipeg, Calgary &
thence by 3rd C.L. Winnipeg Edmonton 634.50 $260.10
18,000 1st L.C.L. Liverpool Winnipeg $736.20
18,000 3rd C.L. Liverpool Winnipeg 482.40 $253.80
18,000 1st L.C.L. Liverpool Calgary & Edmonton $1110.60
18,000 3rd C.L. Liverpool Winnipeg, Calgary &
thence by 3rd C.L. Winnipeg Edmonton 769.50 $341.10
Load (lbs.) Class From To Freight Saving
18,000 1st L.C.L. Liverpool Calgary & Edmonton $1110.60
18,000 3rd C.L. Liverpool Winnipeg, Calgary &
thence by 1st L.C.L. Winnipeg Edmonton 909.90 $200.70
Load (lbs.) Class From To Freight Saving
18,000 1st L.C.L. Montreal Vancouver $1110.60
18,000 3rd C.L. Montreal Winnipeg  
thence by 1st L.C.L. Winnipeg Vancouver 1322.10 $211.50

As at present possible on Groceries, for example, we can cite an instance of freight being saved by taking carload rate to Winnipeg and thence to Calgary or Edmonton through a forwarder. Below is a statement of a shipment which moved recently:

OLD WAY–1 barrel of Pickles, 140 pounds, Liverpool to Calgary, L.C.L. rate, at $5.81.........................$8.13

NEW WAY–1 barrel of Pickles, 140 pounds, Liverpool to Winnipeg, C.L. rate and Winnipeg to Calgary, C.L. rate, including forwarding charges at $3.04½.........................$4.68

The saving of freight on this barrel of pickles alone was $3.45.

Table No. 1 above shows class rate comparisons and will make clear the savings possible on drygoods shipments under proposed new grouping and loading.

Supposing in some cases it were not possible to make up a carload of drygoods for Calgary or Edmonton, shipments from Liverpool to Winnipeg in carloads and thence to the Alberta points by first class or less than carloads would still show an appreciable saving as indicated by Table No. 2.

Due to our inability to make up carloads from Winnipeg to Vancouver–and the combined carload rate from Montreal to Winnipeg and L.C.L. rate from Winnipeg to Vancouver being larger than the through L.C.L. rate from Montreal to Vancouver–this saving in freight cost would not be felt on Montreal or Liverpool shipments of drygoods to Vancouver. The reason for this is indicated in Table No. 3. The comparatively lower through L.C.L. rate from Montreal to Vancouver is made to meet competition with the slower but cheaper water route via the Panama Canal.



photo of man and woman

Confirmed Winnipeg Bachelor Meets Waterloo

The Happy Couple “Shot” Soon After The Event.
By Our Staff Photographer

THIS is the tale of a white-coated masseur who used to be perhaps something of a woman-hater, the tale of an irresistibly beautiful maiden in distress, and of the gossamer strands of a brunette coiffure which were too short–oh, far too short. It’s a story you’ll never forget as long as you can remember it!

The co-respondent in the case, the debonair gentleman in question, Mr. William Saalfeld, administrator of Winnipeg store’s beauty parlor, though usually triumphantly successful in the treatment of the feminine’s crowning glory, was baffled to the point of desperation. (Ha!–the plot fattens!)

Try as he might, he, the designer of fabulously rare head-dresses, could not induce this charming Madam’s hair to stay “coiffed.” Finally in great disgust, disregarding his reputation for impeccable deportment, finesse and savoir faire, Mr. Saalfeld abandoned this bewitching minx to her fate, her tresses uncombed, un-marcelled and undone.

Of course, anyone who could not detect a “rat” in this yarn, somewhere, must have no more imagination than an oyster has shins. The fascinating damsel so endearingly referred to is a wax figure, as you might have seen upon close scrutiny of the portrait. The display department in performing some little operation, such as amputating a finger, adding a new one and powdering her face, tossed her pretty locks. Mr. Saalfeld, whose services were requisitioned (as you have just heard), gave up in desperation. How they finally re-dressed her hair is a professional secret which Mr. Macgregor refuses to divulge. And the darling maintained a serene silence, only the deep blush upon her cheek betraying how her sensibilities had been offended.

WHILE WE HAVE NO infallible information regarding recent seismographic disturbances in China, we would cheerfully volunteer the information that Mr. Kaufman sat down quite impromptu and with considerable emphasis during a curling game recently.

Applied to Efficiency


WE are told our brain is composed of thousands of small cells and that the average person in a lifetime only develops a small number. Surely we were given a brain to use and not let half or more of it lie dormant. So let us try and see how many cells we can develop; in other words, train your memory to help you more and more, every day.

Think out a better way of doing some particular duty you have to perform–a way that will save time or result in greater satisfaction to the customer or the Company. Memorize this and when the opportunity presents itself, give it a trial. This principle applies to any department you may be in, selling, delivering, packing or unpacking; it all amounts to the same in the end, we are all serving the customer in one way or another.

A salesman I know greatly improved his position in the Company’s service, by memorizing the names of all the customers he served. His method was to note the personal appearance of the customer and any peculiarities such as carriage, gesture or attire, at the same time pronouncing the name clearly and making a mental effort to fix it in memory. After the departure of the customer, he occasionally repeated the name to himself. He associated the customer and the name with as many ideas as possible; for example, the particular part of the store where the customer was purchasing or the customer’s attitude at the counter. The impression thus made was reinforced by subsequent repetition of the name.

Similar plans may be used to memorize many other things. The particular “salesman” referred to is now a buyer and he attributes his success in a large measure to the foregoing. Of course, we can’t all be buyers, but we can all be a little more efficient and in that way pave our way to greater success.


Futuristic Fables

Winnipeg Store News as it Will,
Perhaps (?) Be Reported in the
Halcyon Days of, Say, 1945 A.D.

MR. GEORGE ASHBROOK, our resident buyer in Buenos Ayres, South America, wirelesses his congratulations to The Beaver upon its attainment to its twenty-fifth year of publication. He adds that the annual revolution in Peru will occur two weeks later this spring on account of the prolongation of the rainy season.

THE MARRIAGE is announced of Frank R. Rogers, the prominent young Winnipeg banker, son of our print-shop and book bindery superintendent, to the belle of the season, Miss Helen Ogston, on Tuesday next. Social circles are all agog over the event.

SHORT WEEK-END air flights from surrounding suburbs to see Winnipeg with its 1,000,000 population and its Hudson’s Bay Store, are becoming quite the thing. Among those who alighted gracefully upon the store’s roof-garden ’drome last week-end and dropped in to see us all, we noticed Mr. W. J. McLaughlin, of Vancouver; Mr. J. Prest, of Edmonton; Mr. F. R. Reeve, of Calgary, and Mr. Hudson, from Hudson Bay, the genial senior partner of the firm. Mr. Reeve stated that his engine had been “missing” ever since he passed over Regina. A search party had been organized to locate it. “Mac” declares it is still raining in Vancouver, but (like the cold one does not feel) Coast rain does not wet one!

DURING BONSPIEL week a very great curiosity visited the store. An old gentleman with a typical Scotch tam upon his head roamed through the aisles with the fires of recollection burning in his eyes. The snow of many Winters was upon his brow and as he moved gingerly about leaning heavily upon his cane he was evidently an interested spectator of the great progress evidenced on every hand. His manner and garb plainly bespoke that prosperity and independence which possession of plenty of this world’s goods always develops. He claimed to be Mr. George Bowdler, erstwhile champion curler and a member of the store’s staff twenty years ago.

The Store Jokesmith

MR. CONDUCTOR, please stop the Orchestra just a moment, while we breathlessly inquire whether Mr. Tom Bone, reported in January Beaver as vers librist and musical instrument maker of Vernon, should not spell his name Trom Bone? Sounds like sax-oph-one and half-a-dozen of the other to us. (Quick, Friday, the mallet!)

RUMORED, MR. AULIS, in the grocery, has lately purchased a new house. We hope he made a good deal and can sell it, if he wants to, for a $1000 or so profit, without being called a profiteer!

THERE IS A GENTLEMAN down here on the prairies who admits he has bowled 228. Mr. Samuel Beggs offers to tell who it is, if anyone is in doubt.

IF WISHES were material things we bet: Mr. Kaufman would have a waist like Annette Kellerman.

SH-SH-SH! Strictly entre nous! Mr. Wood or anybody’ll tell you that standing up for the principles one believes in is like learning to roller skate. You won’t get anywhere if you sit down too often.

Do You Know

–that Hudson’s Bay Company’s city delivery rigs made 218,049 deliveries, travelled 131,162 miles, and disposed of 267,625 packages during the year 1920? The figures are given by Mr. G. Russel, the shipping room manager.

–that the Hudson’s Bay Company’s shipping department despatched to out-of-town points by express, freight and mail, 59,519 packages during the year 1920?

–that the dining room manageress, Miss Beggs, states that her staff served 28,238 meals during the month of December, 1920.

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Write Like the Dickens Is Right

AN Oriental paper having an English section printed the following notice:

The news of English we tell the latest. Writ in perfectly style and most earliest. Do a murder commit, we hear of and tell it. Do a mighty chief die, we publish it and in borders somber. Staff has each been colleged and write like the Kipling and the Dickens. We circle every town and extortionate not for advertisements.


MISS CONSTANCE GREENFIELD was married on February 5th, at St. Luke’s Church, to Mr. Norman Horton. Mrs. Horton (nee “Connie” Greenfield) has been with us for eight years and her place will really seem vacant for a long time to come. We hope the newlyweds will enjoy a regular story-book romance. They will reside at Guelph Apartments.


SEVERAL enjoyable skating and toboggan parties have been organized by the members of the staff who have taken full advantage of the mild Winter experienced at Winnipeg.

The Dears Have Taken Up Curling

TUESDAY night, January 18th saw the commencement of what we hope to see as a regular feature, ladies’ night at the Heather Rink. Four rinks turned out under the direction of such experienced skips as D. Swan, Alex. Thompson, McMicken and Bill Phelan. The girls had some good sport, but all couldn’t win. D. Swan and Bill Phelan took the honors.

Heard next morning:

1st Girl–“Oh my arms do ache!”

2nd Girl–“Only your arms?”

3rd Girl–“They tell me the stones weigh 40 lbs. each.”

4th Girl–“400 lbs., you mean, judging by my back and arms.”

Chorus–“Oh, for ma wee white bed.”

The Ladies’ Rinks

Miss SmithMiss Poole
Miss GowMiss Thomas
Miss HatfieldMiss Davis
Mr. A. Thompson, Skip    Mr. D. Swan, Skip
Miss E. SmeatonMiss Rosenberg
Miss KelletMiss Norris
Miss BrownMiss M. Smeaton
Mr. McMicken, SkipMr. W. Phelan, Skip


  P. W. L.
Swan 3 3 0
McMicken 3 2 1
A. Thompson    3 1 2
W. Phelan 3 0 3

Wholesale packing room played retail delivery January 31st. The draws resulted in a decisive victory for the wholesale; score 24 to 8.

Retail Skips    Wholesale Skips
Tait Swan
Mills McMicken

MRS. PETER RENNIE and son and daughter arrived recently from Seattle.

MISS ROSE PARADIS, recently one of our steno. stars, is shortly to be married, and has our best wishes.

HEARTIEST congratulations from the wholesale staff to Mr. McDonald on the birth of a son. Mrs. McDonald is doing well.

MISS C. NORRIS is the latest addition to wholesale staff, taking the place of Miss Paradis as a steno. star.

MISS MASIE STYNE left us at Christmas to take a well deserved rest with her parents on the farm at Eriksdale.

MISS LAURA SHEILDS has taken over the switch board vacated by Maisie.

WHO IS THE traveller that sold dud eggs as new laid, and what shall be done to him?



Land Department
  SKIP   Games
  Won     Lost     Standing  
Harman 6 4 2 .666
Bellingham 6 4 2 .666
McDill 6 2 4 .333
Joslyn 6 2 4 .333
Retail Store
Scott6 6 0 1.000
Bowdler 6 4 2 .666
Pearen 6 4 2 .666
Mills 5 3 2 .600
Ogston 5 3 2 .600
Parker 6 3 3 .500
Tait 6 3 3 .500
Sidey 6 3 3 .500
MacGregor 6 2 4 .333
Healy 6 2 4 .333
Sparling 6 1 5 .166
Pugsley 6 1 5 .166
A. Thompson 6 6 0 1.000
Johnson 5 3 2 .600
Swan 7 4 3 .571
Veysey 6 3 3 .500
Poitras 6 3 3 .500
Phelan 6 3 3 .500
Brock 6 3 3 .500
Kinsman 6 2 4 .333
McMicken 6 2 4 .333
O. Thompson 6 1 5 .166



Retail Store News

Group of men
Photograph taken August 1st, 1914, at H.B.C. Athletic Grounds, Calgary. First men of the store to enlist at the outbreak of war, in Tenth Battalion.
Back Row–A. B. Dowty.          S. Atwell.          H. Bennet.
J. Gough.          F. H. Davies.
D. Morris.
H. BENNET, has now returned to Calgary.
S. ATWELL, killed at St. Julien, April 22nd, 1915.
A. B. DOWTY, wounded and gassed at St. Julien, April 24th, 1915, now back in the store.
F. H. DAVIES, wounded at craters, St. Elois, June 6th, 1916, obtained commission and was killed at Mount St. Eloi, Vimy Ridge.
J. GOUGH, gassed at St. Julien, April 22nd, 1915, now at Victoria, B.C.
D. MORRIS, with tenth battalion till September 15th, transferred to headquarters, 3rd Echelon; now at Newtown N. Wales.

Why Not a Hudson’s Bay Bonspiel Week?

IS it possible for the stores or other departments in the Company’s service to hold a Bonspiel, say in the last week of February, choosing some central point, Calgary, for instance. Curling has many fans amongst Hudson’s Bay men and some crack rinks could be assembled.

Could it not be arranged under the auspices of the H.B.A.A.A. and become a yearly event? As the rinks consist of four men only, could they not be spared during the Bonspiel period?

It would undoubtedly arouse much interest and enthusiasm in the Company and is good publicity too. Sweep hard, you curlers, and let’s have some suggestions.

As a starter, Calgary issues a challenge to any rink in the Service.–Calgary H.B.A.A.A.

A Noteworthy Event

BABY STODDART was the first arrival in Calgary in 1921. Roy Stoddart of the carpet department is the proud father of the fine son, who arrived at 7 a.m. New Year’s morning, and is the recipient of many useful gifts presented by the Calgary Herald and city merchants.

Random Shots

MISS PATTON, our hosiery buyer, says: “Window space, like hosiery, gets most attention when properly filled.”

MR. HERRING, in men’s furnishing department, says: “No wonder we can’t buy a cigar for five cents–look where the price of vegetables is.”

MR. McKERNAN says: “Speaking of women having more sense than men–did you ever notice that when the baby gets big enough to walk, father wants to give away the baby carriage, but mother puts it up in the garret?”

GEORGE GAULD expects to compete in the skating carnival, 1922. The new figures that George cuts while on the ice are somewhat sensational!

“STOP THE PRESS” FLASH.–Bud Fisher will wear that beautiful new tie on Easter Sunday. Bud always goes to Church “Easter Sunday.”

MRS. F. WALLIS, of the audit office, left the Store last month after four years’ service. On behalf of the staff with which she has been associated, Miss I. Dunlop presented her with a beautiful cut glass salad bowl.

MRS. M. MOODIE, of the office staff, is on a three months’ visit to Ireland. From letters received, she seems to be having a wonderful time.


MRS. McCRACKEN (nee Miss Watson), buyer of the ladies’ furs, is leaving after nearly seven years’ service.

She had a recent offer of a better position, and accepted it–she is going to devote her energies to looking after her husband and her home.

The best wishes of the whole staff go with her. Mrs. McCracken is to be succeeded by Mrs. Thorburn from the Winnipeg store, who is assured of a hearty welcome to Calgary.

January Dance Lively Affair

WITH plenty of “JAZZ” music and real girls who knew all about dancing and its inventor, the Calgary store staff held their monthly dance on January 19th, at Hickman Hall. With all the store boosters helping it along, it could not help but be a success and those who were present will tell you it was the best dance of the season. Our Calgary Editor, Frank Reeve, was the only one of the store managers present. He promises to bring more of the buyers and other store managers with him if he has to burn up his own gasoline to get them there. Our ever-smiling dining room manageress was in no small manner responsible for the success of the dance.

Calgary Boys Are Enthusiastic Curlers


THE Calgary stores’ curling club, like everything under the direction of the athletic body of the big store, is an unbounded success. No game that one could mention is without its followers in our store and not only are they followers of the rock and broom game, the boys who have taken it up are good at it, at least they will say so and are willing to back up their assertions at any time.

Jack Smith is moving around the store with a lot of extra pep. He is skipping the only undefeated rink at present. Jack took the first game from our G.M. and the second round was also a win for him after a hard battle with Bill Cunningham. The following skips have broken even so far: J. M. Gibson, Bill Cunningham, Joe Marsh and Hutchinson.


Two Calgary Girls–A Policeman–and the Boarding House Missus
By G. Brennand

SOME mixup–not the bottle and the girls, but the girls and the boardin’ house missus.

Miss “Joe” Hickey, who hails from Owen Sound, and Miss Irma Oliver, from the Gateway City, Winnipeg, came together in Mrs. Boyd’s invoice office. They decided to room together forever. If there is such a thing as two girls marrying–they married–and so one Wednesday afternoon they set out to seek lodging quarters. The first place they called, the woman looked them over and said, “Awa’ wi’ you! I’ll have no young and beautiful girls amucking up my parlor with their boy friends.” At the next place they were in luck. So the story goes, the boarding missus referred to above, welcomed them, welcomed them with the odor of Scotch and cloves.

They were to have the “two-room” suite in the attic, including use of the front “piazza.” Joe thought it was a cook stove and Irma giggled in delight; she thought it was a Christmas cake. So they moved in. As all “movings in” are dressed up by the imagination they were going to have such fun in this “dear” of a place–they talked of parties with coca-cola and everything!

Then they retired–poor Joe woke Irma up and said, “Did she (the woman of the Scotch and cloves) say this was a feather mattress?” Sleepily Irma said, “Yes.” Joe pushed Irma out on the floor. “You sleep there then, it’s my turn to sleep on the feathers.” In the morning, they broke the ice in the pitcher to get water. Irma said, “Not for me; ice baths may be well for Mrs. Blair, who has time to take ’em, but not for me, I’ve got that old card to punch!” With a dab here and a dab there of a little powder, they were away to work.

Coming home at night, bubbling over with anticipation and parcels oozing out of every pocket, they arrived in the “suite” with the piazza n’everything.

There on the mantel rested an empty Scotch bottle! Someone had removed the chair and the curtains. Evidently the bottle was left as payment. Poor Irma, through her tears, said, “Joe,[29] this is no place for respectable folks, let’s move again.” The boarding house missus, who had been listening with her ear to the keyhole, tumbled in the door, for the lock was broken too, “I’ll hold your trunks,” and poor Irma blubbed, “When you button your coat your trunk is locked. So is mine. We’ll see if you will.” And away they went to the policeman on the corner. He said, “Go to the sergeant; I’ve troubles of my own.”

The sergeant said, “Pay your rent; then move.” And so they did! In the next episode of this serial, the young ladies, our heroines, are nestled peacefully in the folding bed that went with the Third Floor Back, in the Travers Block.

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MRS. CLARKE, buyer of the ladies’ ready-to-wear, is at present in the East. She finds conditions there are a little difficult as to hotel accommodation. She has been able to pick up some very smart lines in coats, dresses and suits.

Mrs. Clarke writes that indications in New York point to a coat and dress season. Taffetas are also to be strongly represented.

IF ANY OF THE LADIES are in doubt as to the whereabouts of Joe Marsh at the dances we would advise them to look into the kitchen. No, Joe doesn’t stay there because he is tired–he’s fond of the lunch part of the dance.

CURLING has taken such a hold in the store that the fair sex are coming out at the next game with a couple of strong rinks. The girls have been reminded to get out the old style skirt and dig up their rubbers for the game.

WE ARE NOT GOING to mention any names, but we will say that she does the typing for our Associate Editor, and more than that, she is a real nice girl. The same girl wants to know why they turn out the lights for a moonlight waltz if they won’t allow you to get up just a little closer?

A HEATED DEBATE was started among the men on the sixth floor the other day, as to who is the most popular man in the store. After considerable argument, it was unanimously agreed that the porter who closes the windows at 5:20 was the lucky man. Ed. Note–(The Store closes at 5.30).

THERE’S A BIG WIDE SMILE wandering around in the wholesale tobacco department in these days, and if you should run up against it you’ll see behind it the happy face of Mr. Sadler.

Yes, sir, he’ll tell you, it’s the finest boy you ever saw, by heck, he’s so much like me you can’t tell us apart; furthermore, I’ve got money that says he’s the second 1921 baby in the Hudson’s Bay service, being born on January 10th last.

WE REGRET that Miss Finn and Mrs. Goodman of the ready-to-wear section are at present indisposed. Here’s hoping for their speedy recovery.

H.B.C. Eastern Buying Agency News

MISS A. K. SMITH, of Vancouver, and Mr. W. G. Florence, of Edmonton, are again in Montreal. This time, however, their visit is merely a “stop over” as they are en route for Europe where they are purchasing, not only for their own branches, but also for the new Victoria Store, which is to open next summer. Mr. Florence tells us that he has been transferred to Victoria and will enter upon his new duties some time in June. He will take with him the very best wishes of the E.B.A. staff.

THE following shoe buyers, who have been attending the convention at Milwaukee, are again in Montreal:

Drawing of dogsled



Retail Store Notes

Left to Right, Front Row, Officials and Team:
G. Roberts, team manager; P. A. Stone, President A. & A.A.; A. Carmichael, defence; H. Perry, sub.; M. Coleman, left wing; M. R. Baker, centre; J. Howey, right wing; S. Stephens, defence; D. Alton, goal; S. Ferris, sub.; D. MacKenzie, sub.; F. F. Harker, store manager; J. D. McLean, supt.

H.B.C. Edmonton Hockey Team Sensation of Season

But They Have Yet to Reckon With H.B.C. Vancouver!

HAVING entered a team in the Senior City Hockey League, it was apparent that some good opponents would be encountered, so the H.B.C. team settled down to hard practice. Having beaten two Mercantile League teams in exhibition games by scores which savored more of cricket than of hockey, they opened their league engagements against the University of Alberta, and a few days later played the Alberta Government Telephones.

Many good judges of the game were of the opinion that either of these two teams would be champions of the league, but the H.B.C. boys played the ’Varsity to a draw of 6-6, and beat the ’Phones 5-3.

The ’Varsity Game was a stunner, thirty minutes extra time failing to break the deadlock.

The ’Phones had already won their opening league game and were confident of winning, but they were disappointed, our boys beating them on merit.

Following up these two games, we met and defeated the south side team, 13-5, on January 19th, and now head the league.

All the players are members of the H.B.C. staff and incidentally of the Amusement and Athletic Association, under whose auspices the team is entered.

We hear Vancouver store has a hockey team, and we certainly long for a wallop at them on their own ice.

Monthly Dances Becoming Popular

ON Tuesday, January 20th, the association gave another very enjoyable dance in the Memorial Hall. About two hundred couples participated. Everyone was highly delighted with the fine floor and the splendid music rendered by Boyle’s orchestra. Judging by the ever-increasing numbers who are attending these monthly dances, they are becoming very popular.

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MISS MOORE, pianist in the music department, is causing no little comment among the customers who crowd around this department to hear her splendid accompaniment in conjunction with the pathephones. The effect is exactly like an orchestra.

MR. ROBERTS, who resigned from the Company’s service in 1915, to enter the employ of W. E. Campbell Co., of Lacombe, has returned to Edmonton to manage the dress goods section, recently vacated by Mr. Florence.

MR. LOCKIE, who has been in the dress goods department since his return from overseas, has been promoted to buyer for the staple section. We extend to him our most hearty congratulations.

MISS MACDONALD, the assistant manager of the millinery department, and MISS PETERSON, the millinery trimmer, have just returned from a business trip to Calgary.

MR. HARKNESS, until recently assistant manager in the staple department, has been transferred to the men’s[31] furnishing department as assistant to Mr. Chassey.

THE GROCERY DEPARTMENT has been closed out completely in order to make room for the new Furniture Department. The GROCETERIA is to be continued more aggressively than ever.

Salesman Should Be Active Socially, but Not to Excess

By W. G. CUNNINGHAM, Asst. Supt.

BESIDES his duties to the Company and to himself, the salesman has a definite place, and definite duty towards his community. Social relations are helpful in gaining selling success, and a good salesman always has many friends, but like all other classes of people, he must choose his friends with care, for we are all judged by the friends we make and keep.

The salesman should always be of the social type, the kind that is fond of good company, but he must never let the social duties encroach on his business sufficiently to impair his efficiency. Social ambitions are dangerous to successful selling. An evening out occasionally at a social function with several nights intervening for quiet rest is a good rule. When a salesman loses the sleep he needs he will soon develop into the order-taker type. It takes live, wide-awake human effort and energy to make sales.

We Must Have Confidence


Unless the general manager has confidence in the merchandise manager and his buyers–

Unless the buyers have confidence in the sales force–

Unless the sales force have confidence in the merchandise they are selling–

We cannot hope to have the confidence of our customers.

The whole H.B.C. merchandising system is built on confidence. The merchandise we buy and sell must be of that same quality as the Old Hudson’s Bay Company have sold and traded for the past two hundred and fifty years. Confidence in the Old Company for quality of merchandise and for fair dealing with those we sell to and those we buy from must be maintained at all cost.

short divider


Her tiny ears are covered,
With her hair of golden brown,
Her swan-like neck is open
To the gaze of half the town;
Her ankles, trim and graceful,
That delight the roving eye,
With a filmy gauze are covered,
To intrigue all passers by.
A thing of youth and beauty,
As she gaily trips along,
With her laugh and with her giggle,
And her little snatch of song.
Her head both light and empty,
She holds up like a Queen,
The “Flapper” of the moment,
Thus upon the street is seen.
What dwells within the compass,
Of that decorated head?
What thoughts and what ambitions,
And what dreams within are bred;
Is she a painted puppet,
But for laughter and for scorn,
A little social butterfly
That but for play was born?
There is Ethleen McEwan,
And pert little Alice Wright,
There’s vivacious Bessie Ogilvie
And cute Ruth Williamson,
There are scores of other heart breakers,
Employed at Edmonton,
We’ve got to hand it to ’em,
Whether it’s right or wrong.
Will they be sedate and serious,
As the years speed on apace?
Or grow more mature in wisdom,
And more matronly in grace?
Shall youthful effervescence,
Disappear in lightsome gleam,
And the “Flapper” be a woman,
Yes, the woman of our dream.
–With apologies, J.P.

Edmonton Wholesale News

EDMONTON wholesale is busy with outfit 1921, getting food supplies ready to ship north. It is with considerable satisfaction we feel that while other houses are slowing down we are obliged to keep going at full speed.

MR. JOHN SUTHERLAND, of Fort McMurray, spent several days in Edmonton last month, and MR. H. N. PETTY, accountant at Grouard, has been transferred to McMurray in the transport service.



photograph of mostly women in uniform
PICTURING a group of H.B.C. Vancouver store elevator operators, with the starter and sentry.

These young ladies have more “ups and downs in life” than others, yet withal preserve an equanimity and amiability throughout the day that has endeared them to their fellow employees and added much to the popularity of the store.


Rest Room Antics

AFTER all, associating with the store family day after day is not so unlike going to school, is it girls? There is no pleasanter sight than to watch the younger set enjoying the tripping of the light fantastic toe at the luncheon hour in the employees’ rest room. Another pleasant feature of this hour of recreation is to see with what good humour and patience the senior employees gather around the walls in order to allow the young folk scope for using their superfluous energy.

Always, too, one or another can be found to play the waltz or two-step for the merry-makers. This is as it should be, and the spirit of “give and take” thus inculcated will be of inestimable service in the building of character.

short divider

MR. H. T. LOCKYER, our General Manager, was recently made a member of the Vancouver Rotary Club. “He Profits most who Serves Best.”

MRS. McDERMID is back in the children’s section again after an illness which lasted nearly two weeks.

ARE WE, or are we not going to have a cricket club this year? Have we the players? If so, will they organize and get ready for practise? Any employee of the store who wishes to play this year should send in his name to Mr. Winslow as quickly as possible.

MISS A. K. SMITH is in England purchasing notions, laces, and other lines for the Victoria store, as well as for her own departments.

MR. W. R. BOYLE is in the East making purchases for his department. A line of dresses he bought to sell at $19.75 and $13.95 were sold off quickly.

MR. S. D. WILSON is in the Eastern markets after having attended the shoe convention in Milwaukee.

MR. J. WHITE, London buyer, was a welcome visitor in Vancouver recently, on a flying trip. His first-hand information as to market conditions in the Old Land will be of great assistance to the buying staff here.

CAPT. T. P. O’KELLY, assistant to the Fur Trade Commissioner, is in Vancouver in connection with Company transportation business.

short divider

Strong H.B.C. Hockey Aggregation at Vancouver

But Could Vancouver Get Away With this Stuff Against Edmonton H.B.C.?

ICE hockey has taken a hold on the staff to such an extent this Winter that we are able to produce one of the foremost teams in the commercial league. The team is on an even basis with the speedy Kerrisdale team for first place. These two teams have not met as yet, but when they do it is safe to say it will be one of the hardest contested games of the season.

It is interesting to note that our hockey team has not lost a game as yet.

Our genial general manager witnessed the H.B.C. team double the score on the C.P.R. septette and personally congratulated each of the players on their fine showing. We hope to see him at all the games.

Our all-round sport champion, “Jimmie” McDonald, can make them all travel. When it comes to goal getting,[33] “Jimmie” ranks as one of the best in the league.

Our stonewall defence, Timmins, Anderson and Ham, are just about the pick of the league. Percy Timmins, our coming star defence player, is a decided attraction to the games, especially to the fair sex, eh what? “Doc” Almas can still step out and show the younger ones how to get goals, as well as stop ’em all when they come.

We would be glad to hear of any Eastern H.B.C. teams that are prepared to make a tour. We can’t guarantee gate receipts or expense accounts, but we can assure them a “whale” of a good time if they come to Vancouver.

In our three games this season, only six goals have been scored against us. This speaks well for our goal-tender, W. Barber.–L. A. Keele.

Dance at Navy League Hall

ONE of the most successful dances of the Vancouver season was the H.B.E.A. affair on January 20th, at the Navy League Hall.

Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Lockyer and Mrs. Leonard Lockyer honored the function with their presence and a thoroughly enjoyable time was spent by all the three hundred fifty guests.

Dancing commenced at 9 p.m. and continued until 1 a.m. W. Garden’s orchestra rendered selections which were highly appreciated. Dainty refreshments were served, and the whole event proved to be a further laurel in the crown of the able social committee of the H.B.C. Welfare Association.

short divider

What’s in a Name

A  STALWART Swede stepped into a corner drug store. “I bane sick,” said he to the clerk. “And I want some viskey.” “Nothing doing,” answered the clerk. “Don’t you know the country is dry?” But he added, “You might be able to get some squirrel whiskey over there at that saloon.”

Across the street the big Swede made known his wants. “Squirrel whiskey,” yelled the astonished proprietor, “we don’t have such a thing, but,” in a whisper, “I can fix you up with a little ‘Old Crow.’” The Swede shook his head.

“I no want to fly,” he answered, “I yoost want to yump around avhile.”

Vancouver Welcomes H.B.C. Arctic Navigators

Captain Henry Hendriksen and Engineer Rudolph Johnson Return to Vancouver after Six Years in the North

Photo of two men in newsboy caps
Captain Hendriksen (left) and Engineer Johnson (right)

WHETHER it’s because of the climate or because the hearts of those in the West are big, we know not, but the fact is recognized that no branch of the Company’s service gives a heartier handshake and welcome to the Company’s employees than does Vancouver retail. When Captain Hendriksen and Engineer Johnson dropped in recently after spending six years in the frozen north, they were royally welcomed here as brothers in the H.B.C.

Captain Hendriksen and Engineer Johnson operate the H.B.C. gas schooner “Fort McPherson,” a boat of fifty tons which, together with the “Ruby” left Vancouver in 1914 to carry provisions to the Company’s Western Arctic posts together with lumber and materials for the building of a post at Herschel and Baillie Islands.

Fair weather and good luck attended the expedition until it reached Point Barrow where ice was encountered and they were compelled to fall back to Tellar Point, a hundred miles north of Nome, Alaska, before returning south, where the cargo of the “Ruby” was discharged and the “Fort McPherson” beached for the Winter. In July, 1915, the “Ruby” returned from the south, picked up her cargo again, and with the schooner “Fort McPherson,” set sail for Herschel Island, arriving there in August, 1915.


Since August, 1915, the Company has opened seven fur trade posts in the Western Arctic, the first being at Herschel Island; then followed one at Baillie Island, two hundred fifty miles east of Herschel and since then others have been established at Kittigazuit, Aklavick, Fort Thomson, Three Rivers, Kent’s Peninsula and Shingle Point.

The “Fort McPherson” is the Company’s supply boat which during the Summer distributes the goods sent to Herschel Island and to the small posts in the Arctic.

Captain Hendriksen and Engineer Johnson are on their way to Winnipeg on vacation. During their leave of absence, the “Fort McPherson” will remain at Kittigazuit. It is the Captain’s intention to continue this trip to the home of his aged mother who is about to celebrate her centenary in Denmark, and whom he has not seen for thirty years.

The journey to the coast was, as they term it, an uneventful one, being the same kind of an experience they are accustomed to and which is part of the daily round of all the Company’s employees in the Arctic. But to us it reads like a fairy tale.

Imagine, if you will, two men starting on a twelve hundred mile “mush” from Herschel Island to Fairbanks in a sleigh drawn by four large “huskies.”

The frozen country they traversed is broken only by the remains of a once great forest, an ice-locked lagoon, horizons bounded by irridescent glaciers whose tips pierce the sky–and over all the sparkling arctic sunshine flooding the wide plains which stretch away to the Mystery of the World. In their long hike they met no human being except one roving band of Indians. But they saw immense herds of cariboo, many moose, and now and then a cinnamon or grizzly bear. And all the while, the thermometer ranged from 47 to 70 degrees below zero.

At night they rested under the canopy of the stars in a small tent perched impertinently in one of earth’s most awful and majestic solitudes.

Picture to yourself the long trail, the occasional pause in the wilderness to stalk and kill a cariboo or moose for food to replenish the larder of the voyageurs and their faithful dogs.

Their journey lasted for forty days. Arctic blizzards crossed their path. These stout hearted men, however, were able to make their way through to seaboard and embark for civilization for the first time since before the great war.

H.B.C. Salespeople Will Be on Qui Vive During Coming Outfit

STORES generally realize that the coming six months will test the worth of salespeople more than for many months past. We haven’t been selling goods; we’ve been handing them out. People have been anxious to buy.

A change has taken place. The public is inclined to look for further price reductions. H.B.C. people know that the goods on our shelves have been bought wisely and well. Every advantage of our buying organization was used in their assembling. The same goods cannot be purchased elsewhere for less money; that gives the sales-person confidence in selling.

Let us prove to the Company that we are salespeople–not order takers; let’s do this by being willing, courteous and eager to please.

short divider

ACKNOWLEDGING receipt of the Company’s Anniversary Brochure, Mr. David Russell of Departure Bay writes:

“If I may be allowed to quote Kipling (with slight alteration) to illustrate the inseparable connection between the history of the growth of the Hudson’s Bay Company and Canada as a nation, I would say,”

God took care to hide that country
Till he judged his people ready,
Then He chose you for his whisper,
And you’ve found it, and it is ours.

It is sentiments like this from people who have been customers of the Company for years that should spur us to honour the great name that our Company has earned during its two hundred and fifty years of serving the people of Canada and make us the more proud to be servants of this great institution.



In Canadian Trade and Finance
(From Reports of the Union Bank)

THE Canadian official record shows that the increase of wholesale prices of all commodities reached in May, 1920, over the average prices of the year 1913, was 163 per cent, and that, as between the figures for May and December, a decline of almost fifteen per cent. was recorded. The decline was especially noticeable in the prices for grains, fresh vegetables, breadstuffs, tea, coffee and sugar; certain items in the textile group–cotton, silks and jutes, also show declines.

Canada’s Volume of Trade Increases Half Billion

Notwithstanding the fact that an adverse balance will be shown for the first time since the outbreak of the war, the year 1920 was a record one so far as the total trade of Canada is concerned. Statistics for the twelve months ending October, 1920 (the latest figures available), show that the total volume of trade amounted to $2,603,423,987, an increase of $500,000,000 as compared with the previous twelve months’ period. The unfortunate feature, however, is the excess of imports amounting to more than seventy-five million dollars, which compares with a favorable balance of about three hundred and fifty millions for the twelve months ending October, 1919. Practically the whole of the half billion dollar increase in the total volume of trade is due to the growth of our imports for our export increase amounted to approximately only eleven million dollars. The important feature of the statistics is the record of our buying and selling with the United Kingdom and the United States. Compared with last year, our imports from the United Kingdom have increased to the extent of nearly one hundred fifty millions.

Canadian Banking System Demonstrates Merit

On account of the fact that practically all the business of Canada is transacted through its banks, the Canadian Banking System enjoys a unique position compared with the systems of other countries, and accordingly the statement of the Chartered Banks of Canada for the year ending October, 1920, reflects better than any other medium, the actual business condition of this country.

photo of long dock next to builiding
LOADING the boats at an H.B.C. inland post. The start of a long journey to the great auction market in London.

Banks Curtailed Credit to Stabilize Business

Much has been said and written in criticism of the policy of the banks in curtailing credit, but there is not the least doubt that the present comparatively favorable condition of Canada is due in good part to the continuous pressure that has been exercised by the banks, throughout the year, to restrict advances.

Notwithstanding this effort on the part of the banks, current loans are higher by three hundred million dollars than they were a year ago. If a conservative policy had not been adopted, the increase in loans would have been considerably greater; as it stands, the increase is balanced by a corresponding decrease in holdings of Government securities, acquired originally in connection with the Dominion and Imperial Governments’ war financing, and now redeemed.

short divider


By J. H. Pearin

Boost, and the trade boosts with you,
Knock and you shame yourself.
Everyone gets sick of the one who kicks
And wishes he’d kick himself.
Boost, when the day is cloudless,
Boost through the cold and rain.
If you once take a tumble, don’t lie there and grumble,
But bob up and boost again.
Boost for your comrades’ advancement,
Boosting makes toiling sublime,
For the fellow whose found on the very top round
Is a booster every time.


Hudson’s Bay Company

For Service Value, H.B.C. “Point” Blankets are Unparalleled

OBTAINABLE at all Department Stores and Posts of the Company throughout Canada.




Transcriber’s Notes:

Punctuation errors repaired.

Page 13, “to” changed to “the” (reached the landing place)

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Beaver, Vol. 1, February, 1921,
No. 5, by Hudson's Bay Company


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