Oral History as told by Hanna Gallup.
Great Uncle Will showed up in Michigan with a Prince Albert can full of gold nuggets.
The table was that of the family patriarch, Gaunce Gallup. Greenfield was a village of Deerborn, Michigan. Gaunce Gallup had contracted to construct several miles of Highway 2 with draft horses and graders. Gaunce had enlisted the help of nephews and cousins to build the road. Gaunce had taken leave of supplying hardwood flooring, dashes and roofing for Henry Ford’s Model A to build a highway.
Hanford, Bev and wayward nephews gathered round the evening table to gaze at the glistening gold. Uncle Will had the family mesmerized at the tale of finding gold in the far north hillside. Uncle Will had staked his claim and was looking for young hands to mine the nuggets that laid bare for the taking. The Spring trip back to the mine was planned all winter.
Eventually the trek from Ironriver, Michigan to British Columbia was made. The motley crew included the guide, Uncle Will, his son and two nephews. The Spring runoff was in full force as the single canoe crossed the Frazer River. The current flipped the canoe, no one perished as they swam to the destined shore.
Huddled around the fire to dry their clothes they began to realize their food, blankets, and guns were at the bottom of the river. Still fired by the enthusiasm of gold fever they elected to go on.
Uncle Will made a new map carved on bark. Within days it was obvious he had pneumonia and would have to return with his son to the Vancouver hospital.
Bev and Hanford forged on. Bird eggs, cattail shoots and miscellaneous green leaves kept body and soul together as they traveled miles over terrain that looked like copper void of life or promise. When they arrived at uncle Will’s claim they found the entrance to the mine, his pick and shovel, but not one sparkle of gold. Fanning out in opposite directions the prospects slimmed to none. Finally the decision was made to quit and go
home as the bounty was no more.
Uncle Bev bought a home in Vancouver and stayed until World War I started. He retuned and joined the service. After the War Uncle Bev never returned to Vancouver and his home eventually sold for taxes. Bev decided home was not Michigan but ended up in Maine. When he retired, he moved to Florida where he and my grandfather Paul almost moved to South America to start
a lumber mill. The wives put a stop to that dream.
Uncle Hanford Gallup went back to the family ranch in Montana, raising beef and writing poems. Hanford worked for General Motors and invented the first straight six cylinder motor for GMC trucks. He ran for Governor of Montana and lost, eventually moving to La Conner Washington to visit with Grant and Don, his brothers during the winter.
He developed a flying saucer that he gave to the military.
The legacy of Uncle Will Uncle forever changed the lives of the Gallup/Kinney family even though not influenced by one ounce of gold. Uncle Will never returned to the Canadian gold mine.
Years later in Naples Florida Great Gramma Hanna Gallup rode the train from Montana to South Florida to see her daughter Fern and granddaughter Coralee for the first time in decades. As Hanna told her family stories she gave me a glass Scottie dog that had held candy. Her great grandson, Derrill listened to the story just told in 1956 and remembers this grand tale as it was relayed to the whole family.
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