Return to main Vanishing B.C. page Return to home page
Page last updated July 15, 2017
© Michael Kluckner
Sketched/written in 2003: Jesmond, north of Kelly Lake (it being the third point on a triangle including Kelly Lake and Clinton), is one of those intriguing dots on the Cariboo map that turns out to be just a house, rather than a village or whatever. Historically a roadhouse, it was also the post office for the surrounding ranching area. If I have the story correct, the Coldwell family from Jesmond, a suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, originally settled here about 1913. Their original roadhouse, on the right hand side of the road in the picture above, burned down in 1926; the family rebuilt, including a post office which occupied the single-storey annex behind the main house. Today, a green multi-family post box sits on the side of the road, and Clinton is about 30-40 minutes away by well-graded gravel road.
I spent much of a summer evening trying to figure out the best angle to paint this attractive house, eventually settling on a characteristic long view down Jesmond Road, with the low sun casting the purple shadows of the pole fence onto the roadway.
From John Harper, NZ, 2017: Does anyone know of Edwin
Lance ? (Henry William Edwin Lance) 1883-1948 who described
himself as a rancher of Jesmond BC when he married secondly at
Prince George in 1932. Presumably he and his first wife were
living near Jesmond in the 1920s. Edwin was born in New
Zealand and educated in England. He died at Holberg, Vancouver
From Dave Manderson, 2016: Saw your picture of jesmond I
went to school at big bar about 1 mile west it was my grade
four. My father the teacher feel like I know the coldwells like
family. I remember every day of that year and names of most that
I met. Inspired by locals riding past the school with a deer on
the back of horse or moose in chuck wagon I have made the
pilgrimage back most every year to hunt and soak in the memories
of my youth Bought our first horse from Pete coldwells and
hauled it back to Langley at end of school year 1966 So many
story brought to memory from your picture.
From R. Botsford, 2013: I was talking to a friend the other day about Jesmond, and mentioned a book I’d read 50 years ago about the first teacher in that area (in the 20’s or 30’s). Although the name was on the tip of my tongue, that’s where it stayed. The book was quite amusing, but I’ve searched and no luck. Have you heard of it? I’ve been going up that way for at least that long, and really love the area.
Note from Kristy Whitehurst: "I've been travelling through Jesmond to a ranch in the valley every year since I was about 5, and since I haven't been in a few years I've been absolutely dying to go and missing every part of it. (My dad and I are some of the many who've almost run over the Coldwell's infamous border collie numerous times)."
Note from Ivan Moldowan: I spent many of my summers in the late 40s and early 50s at a working ranch – the Circle H, which is still there – down the road a few miles from Jesmond. Yes, you have the history of the place correctly, but here's one thing you may not know: Jesmond had another name; it was Mountain House. My kid brother and I used to ride our horses the approximately eight miles there and back just to get an ice cream cone in the summer. The family there, whose name I cannot remember, who ran the general store and post office, were very nice to us. I used to write to them in the winters to keep up the friendship. The mail truck went by our ranch once a week, stopping in Jesmond for a pickup and delivery, before going on to Gang Ranch, where the driver stayed overnight. Once in a while, he would take me along for the two day event; it was sure a great, unforgettable adventure for a ten year old.