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By Margaret A. Ormsby

In 1860, on the age of fourteen, Susan Louisa Moir left England for British Columbia. After settling at the start at desire, she lived in short in either Victoria and New Westminster, then BC's most crucial settlements. Returning to wish, she helped her mom open the community's first institution. In 1868, she married John Fall Allison and, on her honeymoon, rode over the Allison path into the unsettled Similkameen Valley.

Her checklist of the voyage, of Victoria, New Westminster, and desire and her stories of the remoted yet gratifying existence she, her husband, and their fourteen childeren led within the Simlkameen and Okanagen valleys supply a special view of the pioneer brain and spirit.

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Allison did much of her writing, the transition from cattle ranching to mining took place in the Princeton area, and both the quality and the flavour of life changed. For some years after the prospectors made their appearance in numbers in 1898, the society was predominantly one of men. The community was now visited by Presbyterian and Methodist ministers who travelled from the Nicola Valley to hold services in the bar-room of a hotel. "Whenever xlvi Introduction service was to be held, the proprietors of the hotel, Jim Wallace or J.

By that time. Allison's properties, some of which Mrs. Allison virtually gave away, were much reduced in extent. Allison was laid to rest on his own property at the foot of Castle Rock. He had outlived his mother by only eight years, and he left behind him a widow, who at the age of fifty-two was still a vigorous woman. His two eldest sons had married, and in the spring following his death his daughter Rose married S. D. Sandes, a young English mining engineer who was interested in the deposits on Copper Mountain.

Mrs. Allison's duties as the wife of a rancher living in a remote and isolated district seldom visited by Europeans included not only the burdens of housekeeping, cooking, fur trading and bookkeeping, but also the responsibilities of bearing and rearing children. Between 4 July 1869 and 28 August 1892 she gave birth, without medical assistance and with only her husband and an Indian woman in attendance, to fourteen children, all of whom lived to maturity. Her Victorian upbringing must have prepared her emotionally to accept maternity as one of her obligations, but she seems to have been unprepared emotionally, at the time of the premature birth of her eldest child, for the pain of childbirth.

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