The year was 1932 (A very cold winter). I was a little girl attending school in Fort St. John. As my parents lived at 8 Mile Creek (8 miles south of the Peace River) it was necessary for me to be away from home to obtain my education. I lived with the Sisters of Providence, at the Providence Hospital. It was the Christmas Holidays and I was so excited about going home for Christmas, and being with my mother, dad, and Teddy, my Border Collie.

Jeanne and her pet dog Teddy, one of her playmates.

I left Fort St. John on the morning of December 22nd, with Jack Stein, who drove the mail to Dawson Creek with horses and sleigh. There were several other passengers setting out on this journey. The first night we stopped at Bart Allens, at Allens Coulee, where the present railroad overpass is. We were fed and bedded for the night, bedrolls unrolled all over the livingroom, horses bedded down in the warmth of the barn. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast, we started out again.’

Jeanne’s parents, Albert and Gladys Johnston.

Bart Allen house, before 1920.

This day, the 23rd, we travelled as far as the Peace River, and spent the night at Howard Feenies. Up and away again early the next frosty morning. I was so excited, it was Christmas Eve, and I was nearing home. We arrived at my home in the evening, it was very cold, we were all so happy to have some warmth again. Jack and the other passengers in the bunkhouse, where dad had a roaring fire blazing, and the horses munching bundles in the warm confines of the barn, and I in the warmth of our very cozy log house.

Bart Allen barn, 1945.

Mother and dad were so happy to have me safely at home again, and Teddy almost wagged his tail off. However, mother was disappointed that I hadn’t made it home for Christmas dinner, “But,” I said, “I have, this is Christmas Eve!” Mother had cooked Christmas dinner earlier in the day, thinking it was Christmas.

The road to Dawson Creek in 1929 near 8-Mile Creek where the Johnstons had a stopping place.

The batteries in the radio had gone dead several days before, the clock had frozen, and stopped keeping time, and mother had neglected to mark the days off the calendar on a regular basis, so a day had been lost. Needless to say they were both overjoyed to learn that I had, in fact, arrived home in time for Christmas. The next day mother cooked her second Christmas dinner in two days, a delicious dinner of Moosemeat and Bannock. It was great, and I was so happy, mother and dad were so happy, and Teddy had a grin, from ear to ear, all day long. It was such a wonderful happy time and a Christmas I’ll never ever forget.

Submitted by:
Fort St. John North Peace Museum

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