The following is the text of a speech delivered by Boundary Historical Society vice-president Cher Wyers at the dedication of the Gladys Floyd cabin at Jewel Lake near Greenwood during the society’s annual picnic on Aug. 15.
We’ve all been through a lot in the past 18 months. It’s such a pleasure to be gathering with our membership today at Gladys Floyd’s iconic Jewel Lake cabin built in 1899 by Arthur Norris, aka Lord Pelly of England, and in the Floyd family for over 100 years after her uncle George White purchased it around 1915.
Pelly was anticipating a mining operation so he purchased this land and registered it as Long Lake townsite. The mine did ship quartz ore that showed high grade gold, some silver and silica. Now you don’t need to remember these details as we have published the 18th Report containing the Jewel Lake cabin story and copies are available for sale.
Gladys’s very generous gift to the historical society is one we deeply honour and we will continue to ensure her memory is kept alive as we create our own history at the Floyds’ Jewel Lake cabin.
Gladys was born Oct. 30, 1930 in Greenwood and spent her early years on the family farm not far from here on Floyd Mountain followed by schooling in Greenwood where she lived on Church Street for a few years before moving back to the farm. After graduation, Gladys moved to Nelson to attend business college.
A year later she accepted the government sub-agency position in Creston. Fourteen months later, she returned to Grand Forks to work at the Bank of Commerce as stenographer. A year later, the Department of Highways lured Gladys and eventually she was promoted to office manager. She remained with highways until her retirement at age 55.
And here’s the Gladys Floyd I met in 2009 who was volunteering at the Grand Forks and District Public Library. I will always reflect on the afternoon reception held for the library volunteers at a private garden and Gladys’s beaming smile as she was recognized by her peers for her volunteering service.
Gladys loved her community and volunteered delivering meals on wheels, became a life member of the Order of the Eastern Star and involved in the BC Retired Government Employees’ Association. Last but not least, she loved her history and contributed greatly to the Boundary Historical Society and was bestowed a life membership.
So let’s visit how we got here! In 2018, Gladys Floyd, our lifetime member, approached the society with the idea of accepting ownership of her Jewel Lake cabin that had been in her family for many years. In 2019, the society was entrusted, by Gladys, to take possession of the cabin and preserve it as a “historical site.”
When she inherited it in the early 1970s she transformed the cabin with her personal renovations where Gladys entertained her many friends, creating fond memories and stories. Her cabin guest book illustrates the good times spent with Kay McCaffrey and Bubbles Topp and her brothers Jim and Jack. We trust you will share a story or two today with us today.
Our Jewel Lake diamond in the rough has required TLC since 2019. Doreen Sorensen has a job jar list ongoing. Throughout winter 2020, Al Donnelly visited Jewel Lake regularly with his dogs to check on the cabin and advise when the snow was finally gone. Donations to bring some authenticity to the interior have been generous from Judith Hamm’s braided rug to a vintage chair from Bob McTavish. Beginning back in the spring of 2020, Doreen mustered up a crew to remove the debris and brush from the exterior grounds. Volunteers have continued throughout 2021 attending to repairs to the cabin stove, fencing and the grounds upkeep.
One day in June while visiting the cabin with Ken Fehr and Mel Carroll to install the post with the table top sign, they etched out a path around the cabin for visitors to walk. What luck spotting two men with a metal detector surveying the townsite for the new lodge owners. Our two lots of 33 feet in width were easily located, discovering one of the resort’s campsites was on our property. The surveyors graciously surveyed the Floyd property at no cost.
Everything has worked out nicely with the new resort owners and new fencing is underway. Orlanda Brown, Gladys’s trustee, provided two pictures of the Floyd property and also another copy of the cabin pictures along with the guest books you’ll find in the cabin. The 17th Report carries Gladys’s personal account of her “My Life in the Boundary.” Visit the collection of digital reports at: https://doh.arcabc.ca/islandora/object/bhs%3Areports
Today, we celebrate a special lady who is with us in spirit as we celebrate our annual picnic in her honour. A “thank you Gladys” hardly seems sufficient but we know for certain that deeding her Jewel Lake cabin to the society will give us all a stronger purpose to ensure her legacy lives on.
Gladys Floyd died in Grand Forks on June 22, 2020, age 89.