108 History Quiz #5

This Building has a lot of 108 history and has had many visitors. Can you guess what it was used for in 1972?

a.) Original 108 school house

b.) Block Bros. office

c.) Original 108 Community Center

d.) 108 Chapel

The answer is both c and d.

This is the original 108 Community Center built in 1972 by local builder, Hansen Recreational Homes. It was a very busy place with community meetings, frequent club gatherings and regular bingo nights. It is not all that big, yet according to a local newspaper report, over 100 people gathered there on July 16, 1972 when the building was dedicated by Henry Block as the 108 Chapel, and was used as such, at least on Sundays. Today the building is used by CCLF as a Youth Center.

In behind the Community Hall you can still see the original ‘Field House’. Pat Corbett, who was the then manager of Block Bros. at the 108, made arrangements with the School Board to allow for the construction of what was to be a covered community skating rink right next to the Hall. This worked well for a few years until the School Board discontinued use of the rink, sighting liability issues.

108 History Quiz #4

Yes, the 108 had commercial air service from the 108 to Kamloops and Vancouver as well as flights to Williams Lake, Quesnel, and Prince George. That was in 1975. Can you guess what it cost to fly one way from the 108 to Vancouver?

a) $41    b) $79    c) $108    d) $142

Answer: You probably guessed (c) $108, and you would be wrong. It was (a) $41, as you will see by reading the very entertaining and informative article below.

The photo was taken at the 108 Airport where Mayor Ross Marks congratulates Captain Norm Rogers for landing the first official flight, as Henry Block looks on. At left is Pat Corbett whose work was instrumental in getting the flights to land at the 108. Next to Corbett is Block Bros. pilot Mike Gutman.

108 History Quiz #3

There are 10 photos of the 108 in this photo collage. How many can you identify? Names and dates?

Answers starting top left and clockwise.

1. This historic picture, taken in October 1972 by Duncan Meyers, shows our fire hall under construction, along with our stalwart fire department volunteers. Left to right: Dick McDermid, Rod Beaton, Neil Christiansen, Fire Chief Karl Lysell, Ed Irwin, Nick Addison, Svend Hansen, Karl Nielson, Tom Highland.

2. This is a 1969 photo of Len Monical, who is no doubt the longest residing resident of the 108 at 57 years and counting. His many accomplishments will be in a later post.

3. Watson Mansion …see Q #1

4. Hockey on 108 Lake 2019 at the Giggle Games.

5. Arthur and Henry Block, brothers and owners of Block Bros. Realty, developed the 108 Recreational Ranch in 1969. Both built summer homes here, Arthur on Block Drive and Henry on Kinncum North. Back in those days we had smart mega phones, which never rang, and which could not be answered.

6. This is a 1969 photo of the Club House overlooking the 9th Green. This easy going and fun place included a dining room, a bar and coffee shop, pro shop and huge wraparound sun deck. Green fees at $75 per year for a couple was a 50% discount incentive for property owners.

7. This Heritage Site building, now referred to as the Telegraph Office, used many of the logs from the original 108 Road House building that was torn down in 1880. That definitely appears to be a ghost in the top window. Massive bragging rights if you knew her name is Emily.

Evidence keeps appearing to support the various connections between the known 108 ghosts, Emily, Shadowman, Spiritcat and the crimes and murders at the old 108 Hotel.  You must read Hotel From Hell: The 108 Mile Murders by local 108 author Lisa Pugh, which reveals the alleged crimes of the nefarious Scotswoman, Agnus McVee, who along with her husband Jim, and son-in-law Al Riley, operated the 108 Roadhouse from 1875-1885.   Apparently, many miners returning from the gold fields in Barkerville, found themselves much lighter after their stop over at the 108 Hotel.

8. Photo of 108 Lake in 2018.

9. Al Richmond, Ulli Vogler and Dan Jackson in full regalia to celebrate Canada Day at the annual Heritage Site festivities.

10. This aerial photo of the 108 Clubhouse area was taken on the busy Labour Day weekend, 1969, on occasion of the enthusiastic opening of the 108 Airport. The golf course was also open, and mostly complete. The Motor Lodge and Wheelroom were still in the plans.   

108 History Quiz #2

Part of the Block Bros. vision for the 108 was the development of 5-acre Biblical Garden with its own lake, with sculptured statutes, plus a 650 seat outdoor amphitheater right next to the 108 Chapel. And it did happen, with grand opening on July 16, 1977.

What became of this Biblical garden that was to be our 108 community centerpiece?


Image of statue of Jesus, man-made lake and amphitheater at 108 Mile Ranch.

Well one thing is for sure it is not there anymore, yet it was a remarkable attraction to our community for many years. The original 108 Chapel was built in 1975 followed by the Garden in 1977. It was filled with 24 life size original sculptures depicting 14 different scenes from the life of Jesus. The various statutes were made from fibreglass and created by the renowned Italian sculptor, Trinka. The Garden feature was a 12-foot statute of Jesus in the middle of a million gallon man-made lake and waterfall.  There was professionally designed night lighting and the amphitheatre was often filled for concerts or Christian performers and speakers flown in by Block Bros. from around North America. In addition, the development included an orientation building with projection studio, and a souvenir and book shop.  It was estimated that up to 3000 people per year visited the 108 Garden.

However, the Garden cost over $30,000 per year to maintain, and without Block Bros.’ support it was just too costly for the local Church to sustain. So, in 1984, the Church gave away the Garden assets, including the statutes, to former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm’s Fantasy Gardens in Richmond. Fantasy Gardens was sold around 1991 and in 2011 many of the 108 statutes found their way to the Coachella Valley in California.

If you have a hankering for a great date milkshake, go to Shields Date Garden in Indio and take their featured stroll out back among the gardens and date trees and see some amazing life size sculptures depicting the life of Jesus and know that it started right here at the 108.  If you want to see these statutes right now, take an armchair tour on the Shields Date Garden website and check out the current home of the 108 biblical garden statutes. 

108 History Quiz #1

Can you name this 108 historical building? Do you know where it was located or the romantic reason it was built? (Hint: The man who built this Mansion has other legacies at the 108. ie  our Clydesdale barn)

This building known as  the Watson Mansion was designed by Victoria architects for British Army Captain Geoffrey L. Watson and was completed in 1911. It was situated along Tatton Road past the end of Watson Lake on the south east side before the railway tracks. Captain Watson owned approximately 1000 acres in the 108 area and also built our famous Clydesdale barn at the Heritage site. He built the mansion as a proposed home for his bride-to-be in England. Unfortunately, she declined to come to the mansion, as she considered the area too dangerous a place to live. Watson returned to England in1915 and was subsequently killed during WW1 in France.

The Watson Mansion burned down December 24, 1983, caused by a chimney fire. At the time the building was being used as a youth camp operated by Circle Spring Ranch. The building burned quickly and the 108 Fire Department had no chance to stop the fire.

THE 108 IS TURNING 50 IN 2019!! We’re looking for history!

THE 108 IS TURNING 50 IN 2019!!!!!!
Maureen Pinkney is the main organizer of that event.

This is so exciting! My family first moved from 100 Mile to the 108 in 1972, not long after the concept of the Golf Course Ranch Community began. I use to ride my horse all over the ranch, with not many homes at that time, there were also not too many fences, I could ride almost everywhere. So, I will be looking to put together a history board, if any one has any old pamphlets or photos of the ‘olden days’ please get in touch with me. We will be planning the festivities for next June and will be hoping to include all the amenities at the 108 for the celebration. If you have a business, volunteer or look after something at the 108, please contact me. mpinkney@telus.net or my Facebook page.