Monday, September 25, 2017

Jasper Mallory Daniels Powell Lake Homestead

John showing Wayne the exposed stone chimney.
During September, Wayne and I went up to the Head of Powell Lake with our good friend John. Because the water level has been exceptionally low, a hidden historical treasure has been exposed.

The height of Powell Lake was raised when the dam at the paper mill was built in 1912 to produce electricity for the adjacent paper machines and the homes and businesses in the mill's townsite.

The fieldstone chimney faces north and charred snags are visible nearby.

In 1924, the dam was raised for additional power. Homesteads along the lake's shore that weren't already flooded were washed out.

The chimney on exposed lakebed with Powell Lake to the east.

If you know where to look, you can find evidence of those old homesteads and imagine the lives of men, women and children living remotely up the lake.

When water recedes, a sand and mud flat is exposed at the Head. If you guide your boat carefully through the shallows you will find a historic treasure, the fallen remains of a rock chimney. After being submerged for 93 years, that's all that remains of a once thriving homestead.

Looking down the flue and exposed field stones.

I took pictures and posted some on Instagram asking for information. I was surprised when David Brindle, a reporter for the local Powell River PEAK responded. The pictures inspired him to research the possibilities. The results were published on the front page of the PEAK on September 20, including one of my pictures. What an honour! You can read the whole article by clicking here.


Based on records at the Powell River Museum, online resources and ancestry websites, and the location of a great grand-daughter still living in the Powell River area, the answer appears to be that the chimney is what's left of the wilderness home of Jasper Mallory Daniels, Sr.

Family painting by son Mallory Daniels (Allen Farrel) of the homestead from PEAK.

Jasper Senior deserted from the U.S. military and made his way to Powell Lake. Here he built a life for his wife and children. Genealogy.com recounts the early life of his son Mallory Daniels, Jr. (aka Allen Farrel) on the homestead:
"Mallory spent his earliest years living at Siwash Creek, at the head of Powell Lake, where his family homesteaded. On a bare, stump-strewn flat beside the waters of Powell Lake, they built a sturdy log home with a fieldstone fireplace, encircled by a picket fence. Bushes thick with berries grew on the hillsides and among the charred stumps that surrounded their carefully tended garden."
Life must have been hard, but in its own way ideal in this picturesque spot Wayne and I love to visit by boat, barge and quad.

More evidence, a stump-strewn flat.

When I saw the painting in the PEAK it made the identification of the chimney's owner almost complete. It was a "fieldstone fireplace" still in excellent condition, it was right next to "the waters of Powell Lake," it was located on a "stump-strewn flat," and there were "charred stumps still visible."

Even more evidence, a stump next to the chimney similar to the painting.

John has known about the chimney for many years, but it took my photograph on Instagram to inspire David Brindle to discover "the rest of the story." Thanks for great sleuthing Dave and answering my call for information. -- Margy

10 comments:

  1. That is so cool, I love stuff like that!

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  2. Congratulations on documenting and re-discovering such a fantastic piece of the history of your area. Wow! What it must have been like to live up there!!

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  3. Having read some of the local history I can only stand in awe of what these early pioneers did to make a life for themselves. Thanks for the post!

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  4. Wow, Margy, a field trip made for the likes of you, right? I'm betting you'll be back the next time the lake is low. Meanwhile, what a treasure.
    Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  5. This is fascinating and what a place to explore! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. What a beautiful place they lived and how sad it has been covered over by the waters. Happy to see some of it appearing again. How cool to have your pic in the newspaper.

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  7. How cool to be able to see that!

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  8. This is fascinating! Drought seasons do yield some good. I've walked across the dry river bed at the Truckee River -- so weird. This year it's been full and actually overflowing!

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  9. This IS fascinating! What a year we've had here and there!

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  10. Thanks everyone for stopping by to read and comment on this blog post. Like the chimney, I've been up the lake for a long time without good Internet service. - Margy

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