Dear Editor:

Thank you for putting the picture of me on the front page of your March 18th edition. Also, I would like to thank Kate Irwin for taking it. Kate, how did you make me look that good?

The following explains a bit about my dads homestead (now Crooks Meadows) in what is now Kootenay National Park:

In the early summer of 1911, Charles Crook, Everett Bogardus and Percy Lake camped in this meadow. They were from Athalmer, where Crook and Lake were partners in livery and feed business, and were here to stake out homesteads for themselves. The land was open for preemption filing but hadnt been surveyed. The prospective homesteaders had to make a rough survey, and lacking a surveyors chain, used lariat ropes tied together to make up one 66 feet (20 metres) long.

Three quarter sections were measured out, and although adjoining each other, it must have taken a lot of axe work to establish cut lines in the heavily forested area. There may have been a base line close by that they tied into.

Charles Crook chose this area as it had two small meadows and a small creek. The meadows provided feed for the horses, which was a big factor in the days of trail travel.

The homestead to the north was taken by Everett Bogardus and the next one to it was Percy Lakes. The latter had Dolly Varden Creek running through it.

These three preemptions were filed at the B.C. Government office at Golden, B.C., and a proper survey was done later by the firm of J.H. Gray and Milligan Bros., provincial land surveyors. Charles Crook received the Crown Grant to the Property dated November 18th, 1915. The Bogardus quarter was taken over by an American, John Brothers, but Percy Lake failed to fulfill his homestead obligations and it reverted to the Crown.

It was supposed the reason he didnt prove up and get a title to it was because he decided to move to California. This he did, but later returned to take over his fathers farm at Brady Creek on the Westside Road south of Invermere.

Ray Crook