Enid “Dimps” Horn jokes that she’s now one of the few old-timers left in Lone Butte.
It’s not far from the truth: Horn, 73, was raised at the Watch Lake Lodge – the eldest daughter of Shorty and Alice Horn – and now runs it as the sole proprietor and cattle owner. During a recent visit, she pointed out the rafters in the living room that used to hold a swing she and her sisters used all winters.
“I’ve been here all my life,” she said. “I look out the window every day and remind myself that I should appreciate it more. I don’t want to take it for granted because I know how lucky I am.”
Her tenure has made Horn a well-known face in the South Cariboo, not only in her immediate stomping grounds – she went to school at the Flying U and organizes the Watch Lake gymkhana – but in Williams Lake and Clinton, where she has been involved in 4-H leader for decades. In 100 Mile House, she is remembered fondly as the beloved secretary at 100 Mile Elementary, where she worked for 50 years before retiring in 2017.
“I have so many kids, so many good memories. They were all such important influences in my life,” she said. “My mom and dad were such community people. We were never left home and babysat. If there was a community dance, everyone went and the kids just slept on the benches.”
It was a different time when her family moved to Watch Lake in the 1950s. Lone Butte, with its railroad and stockyards, was the centre of the South Cariboo back then, with locals, including her dad, working in the local sawmills. The lodge had no running water or electricity and Horn and her sisters were expected to help carry water, chop wood and milk the cows.
READ MORE: Dimps Horn: school secretary extraordinaire
At school, they played Kick the Can or British Bulldog and Horn grew up with the children of their guests who came every summer – and are still come with their own offspring.
“We always grew up with lots of people around,” she said.“There’s hardly a week during the summer months where there are not people here I’ve basically grown up with.”
Horn still volunteers with the Clinton 4-H Club and the Watch Lake gymkhana and is director of the BC Cattleman’s Association and president of Green Lake-North Bonaparte Stock Association. And while she’s already fairly booked for the summer, she can’t wait to get to it.
“I love what I’m doing,” saying she has no plans to stop. “I’m hoping I don’t have to make that decision for another half a dozen years or so. Right now I’m doing exactly what I want to do, dealing with the resort and the cattle industry and my cows. I think I’m doing ok. This is a special place.”