Editors note: Ray Crook is a long-time Invermere resident and an invaluable resource for local history. See page 24 for more comments on historical photos from Pioneer readers.
Samuel Hope Brewer was born at Perry Creek, B.C. on May 30th,1886, the first white child in the East Kootenay. At that time his father, a placer miner from Wisconsin, was working a gold claim on Perry Creek. The Brewer family moved to Josephs Prairie, now called Cranbrook, where Sam Brewer was in charge of Col. Bakers ranch. From there, they moved to Fairmont in 1888 where Sam had purchased the Fairmont property from George Geary, who was ranching and keeping a stopping house. In 1909, they moved to the Chamberlain Ranch north east of Windermere.
Sam Brewer died in 1921 and his son Hope took over the ranch. In 1916, Hope married Mrs. John Spencer, a widow whose late husband had owned a ranch on Findlay Creek. He sold the Chamberlain Ranch to Alec Ritchie and went to work in Kootenay Park as the warden at Marble Canyon for ten years. Following that the family moved to Invermere, where they purchased a small house and acreage from Mrs. Jim Duncan. They had one son, Carl, who had predeceased them in 1967 at the age of 43.
Hope was a colourful person who was able to tell many stories of his experiences in the early days of his life in this valley. He was a keen hunter and fisherman and had been on a fishing trip to Lang Lake only a few days before his death in October 1971 at the age of 85.