Former Greenwood and Boundary resident and historical author Chuck Tasaka will launch his newest book on Aug. 16-17 at the Greenwood Museum.
“My Hometown, My Furusato: Family History of Greenwood-Midway is a book about the early pioneers who settled in the Boundary country to find a better life,” Tasaka wrote in a recent email to the Times. “Some came to work in the smelter and others came to establish their own homestead and ranch.”
Families like Mark and Anna Christensen came as early as 1895 and their son Edward Greenwood was born in 1896, most likely the first baby born in Greenwood, even before the city was incorporated in 1897.
An Italian family, the Bombinis, came to settle in Anaconda after a brief stay in the U.S. These pioneers started from scratch and worked their way to selfsustainable living.
In Midway, it was the Boltz family who started a homestead by accident. There were many hardships and tragedies during the boom and bust of Greenwood and Midway.
Greenwood was on the verge of becoming a ghost town but war in the Pacific broke out in 1941, and with the incarceration of the Japanese from the coast of B.C., Greenwood became the first internment camp in B.C. Mayor W.E. McArthur’s quest to accept the newcomers was a blessing. Greenwood enjoyed a revival.
When Phoenix Mine reopened there was another influx of new citizens from places like Princeton, B.C. After that growth spurt, Greenwood faced another crisis. Sawmills and mines started to close down one by one.
“Through all the peaks and valleys of a small town or village relying on primary industries, people formed a special bond and love for their community,” Tasaka wrote. “They talk about their family members dying from diseases or illnesses not heard frequently in modern times. There is the story of a love triangle gone wrong and one of a heart-warming reunion of two young ladies from completely different culture after being separated for over 40 years and meeting by chance while living in the same state!”
One family wrote about their family member killed during a supposedly botched robbery at the Midway Hotel. And there are more stories like these.
“No matter how tough life was in Greenwood and Midway, they still have fond memories of forming life-long friendship, exploring the natural playgrounds, fishing, hunting and playing all day and night until they heard their mothers calling out to come home,” Tasaka said.
Over 40 families participated and contributed to the book.
“Personally, I have learned a lot about what it’s like to be a rancher, or to work in the smelter. After reading many of the stories, I have learned along the way, the history of Greenwood and Midway.”
In 2011 Tasaka published Hanatare Bozu or Runny-nosed Brats of Greenwood, the proceeds of which were used to fund three murals on display at the museum commemorating the work done by the Franciscan Sisters of Atonement in Greenwood from 1942 to 1967.
My Hometown, My Furusato: Family History of Greenwood-Midway will be launched at the Greenwood museum on Aug.16 -17, time to be announced.