Coldwell family has rich in Jesmond area

Coldwell Ranch and Charlie Coldwell inducted into BC Cowboy Hall of Fame

  • Apr. 30, 2015 3:00 p.m.
Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo president Kelly Walls

Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo president Kelly Walls

By Mark McMillan

Harry Coldwell was born in England in 1882 and moved to Vancouver in the spring of 1910.

After two seasons, he moved to Ashcroft and worked building houses in the area. He spent the winter building homes at Gang Ranch and in Dog Creek.

In 1914, Harry bought a place called Mountain House with two others and registered the CD brand for both horses and cattle.

He became sole owner in 1919, and because of a request from Canada Post, he changed the name from Mountain House to Jesmond.

As well as a ranch, the property was also a stopping house for the BX Stage Coach. Harry was a postmaster for Canada Post and delivered mail from Clinton to Jesmond, Gang Ranch and Canoe Creek – a weeklong trip by horse and wagon or sleigh.

After the house burned down in 1921, they built a new one. By this time, the stagecoach traffic had slowed down and motorized vehicles started going by, so they decided to make Jesmond a store and gas station, as well as the post office.

At the ranch today, they still have buildings from the store days … “an ice house, meat house, warehouse, and the old ‘plant’ house where the generator was.”

The ranch transferred to Harry’s son, Pete, in 1971 after Harry’s death in 1970. Pete was also a guide outfitter and owned the hunting area, which he turned over to his son, Raymond, in the mid-1980s.

In 1993, Pete transferred the title of the ranch to Charlie, and Pete died later that same year.

Charlie and his wife, Pat, switched from doing horseback hunting trips to pack trips for tourists and continued to run the ranch with about 150 head of mother cows.

At the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo on April 19, the Coldwell Ranch was inducted into the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame (BCCHF) as a Century Ranch and Charlie Coldwell was inducted as a Working Cowboy.

Charlie said he can never remember a time when he wasn’t surrounded by both horses and cattle.

Mark McMillan is president of the BCCHF.