Mollie Adams Diary of her Journey in the Canadian Rockies, August 11, 1908
Tuesday, Aug. 11.
We decided to move up and camp near Swift’s today, as his accounts of B.C. trails made us give up the idea of going in by way of the big bend of the Columbia to Donald, or any of the other ways in that direction, so we shall have to come back here on the way home, and can leave part of our grub in his store house. When we arrived in sight of the shack there seemed to be a great many people running around, especially small boys, but really there was only one boy, younger than the two girls we had seen yesterday. Perhaps he seemed so plenty because he was trying to express his joy at our coming. They said that when the girls, Lottie and Ida, came back last night and told him they had seen two white women, he wept and wailed and reproached them bitterly for not sending for him to come and see the strange beings too. They say that several years ago there were two white women who went up the other side of the river with Fred Stephens, but we are the first to come over on this side. We camped in a little clearing among poplar trees a short distance from the shack, and had a constant stream of visitors except when we were out visiting ourselves. Mrs. Swift came with the baby, eighteen months old, on her back, and the other three children were right there with their eyes glued to us, with only slight intermissions during the rest of the day. And if we “gassed with the woman” Mr. Swift certainly did his share of “gassing” too, with anyone he could get hold of. We were pleased, however, and found him very interesting. After lunch we returned Mrs. S’s. call. She had some very pretty work, silk embroidery on buckskin, in which of course we invested somewhat largely. Her house, just one room, was next as could be, and we did not feel at all afraid to sit down on her chairs, of which there were two. They made us a present of a pot of potatoes! A pitcher of milk!! And a dozen fresh eggs!!! Just as supper time another outfit arrived from down the river, an Englishman going up to some newly discovered graphite somewhere toward Yellowhead Pass. He came over to our camp after supper, evidently having just shaved for the occasion, with his two French Canadian packers. His name is Lister, a nephew of Lord Lister, and he says he is always called “Listerine” out here. Swift was also of the party, and the two little girls who tried to go home several times during the evening, but did not dare until they were escorted, because “the bull was on the trail.” They stayed till 10.15, which seemed fearfully dissipated to us, 8.30 to 9 being our average bedtime lately.
The Swift Family ] Mrs. Lewis Swift and four children 1908], Mary Schäffer Fonds,
Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (V527 / PS1 - 93)