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Par-a-dice Inn
Jack Branston

This, a brief review of when, where and why Par-a-dice Inn was started is written by Jack Branston because no one else wanted the job or I should say would take the job so please excuse the grammar and spelling.

The winter of 1934-35 we spent in our lower cabin below the forks and being young and foolish hiked up to the Ski Camp every Saturday night for the dance, down again to sleep, up early on Sunday morning and back up to the Ski Camp for skiing and down again for supper and so to home dog tired at night. After a while we got ambitious to own a cabin nearer the ski grounds and so decided to hire someone to build us one and we would all share the cost. We finally found someone who would build us a cabin, log work only for $100. They did actually build the foundation and put up about two rounds of logs and then had the audacity to get sick and go to the hospital leaving us holding the bag or should I say the cabin with quite a bit of money spent on tools, grub etc. and only about three rounds of logs to show for it. The worst of it was I had spent my holidays as well as my money on these three rounds. The others with the exception of Gordon Munro and Jack Tyrell decided to drop out. They never really wanted a cabin anyhow. However Tyrrell, Gordie and I set to work to build it ourselves even though we had no idea how a cabin should be built. We worked until Nov. 17, 1935 and then quit for the winter and spent another winter in the lower cabin.

Easter of 1936 Marion Everett phones me up to ask if we would mind if her kid brother Bob and a friend of his spent a few days in our cabin. I had never met her brother but I figured he wouldn’t be too bad with a sister like Marion, you see I always did like Marion. It was the best thing we ever did as that is how we met Bob Everett and Frank Featherstone who worked so hard we invited them to help with the new cabin. This important date was May 10, 1936. That summer we worked hard in all the heat and packed up our flooring and shakes as we worked putting up the logs. We had lots of fun even if we did work hard. Frankie was a big help for all his size and was worth any two of us. On October 25, 1936 Gordie and Frankie finished putting shakes on the roof in a downpour of sleet and rain. By Nov. 5 we had the floor down and the windows and door in. That day it snowed for the first of the season. The next weekend Nov. 15, 1936 we moved up from the lower cabin. We still had lots of work to do building the bunks. Stairs, table and getting some firewood before the skiing started. New Years Eve we packed up the bunks. The trail was a sheet of ice and we had no crampons. It was impossible to walk in the middle of the trail and the branches were so long that it was almost impossible to walk on the side of the trail because of the branches. I still shudder when I think of it. However we made it and the boys christened the cabin with hot rums and soon forgot about the trials of the trail. Gordie came home talking very excitedly to Frankie. Unfortunately for Gordie’s reputation Frankie wasn’t there.

I should have mentioned that Frank brought his cousin Ray Lowe who was a big help in many ways especially in building the stairs. It was our misfortune that Lyle Murry should have honored us by staying with us that winter. Not that we didn’t like Lyle but Ray liked her better so that now we have neither Lyle nor Ray. Those in our cabin for the winter of 1936 – 1937 were as follows:

Lyle Murry                     Biddy Osterman
Marge Hutchings            Midge Hirschfield
Frank Featherstone         Bob Everett
Gordon Munro                Jack Tyrell
Jack Branston                 Jack Henderson
Bill Collison                     Reg Claridge
Fred McLoy                     Ray Lowe

The winter went very pleasantly and soon came the spring. July 17 we again got ambitious and started a new room on the south side. We didn’t work quite as hard nor as steady this summer but just the same we had it finished by Nov. 14 before the snow fell.

Gordie and I finished the roof by lamp light and it looks like it. Just the same it is about the nicest room on the mountain. New Years Eve that year saw Gordie and Frank beguiling two strange girls to spend the evening in Par-a-dice where there was wine and song but not many women. It speaks well for them that the girls accepted. These girls were Altha Maybe and Dot McKenzie and we are pleased to say we saw quite a bit more of them after that. The following spent the winter of 1937 – 38 at Par-a-dice.

Biddy Osterman                Thelma Corry
Marge Hutchings               Midge Hirschfield
Mabel Thompson               (sometimes) Rose
Frank Featherstone            Gordon Munro
Jack Tyrell                         Jack Branston
Bob Everett (occasionally)   Bill Collison
Reg Claridge                      Fred McLoy
Bob Prittie                          Stew Morrison

Lyle Murry, Ray Lowe, Jack Henderson and mostly Bob Everett were not with us that winter. A nasty accident that might have been far worse happened on Jan. 23, 1938 when the head of one of the axes came off when Eileen Coady was chopping wood (which she had no business to be doing) and cut her hand on the back of the hand making a cut four inches long and quite deep, just missing the tendons and veins, the only place on the back of the hand where it could have hit without doing serious harm. We made many friends this year, in fact too many, as sometimes we couldn’t get into our own cabin.

Another good year and then came the spring and with it our guests. About June 5 we had an uninvited guest who came in through the windows and caused quite a mess before he left, a black bear. Frank showing his usual courage started up the stairs with an axe to chase the bear out. Fortunately for Frank, the bear had already left.

The summer of 1938 we did practically nothing as we did not come up the hill. Stew and Biddy stayed at our cabin whilst they built one of their own. We did however get a woodshed put up and extra windows in the kitchen.

I almost forgot that Frank won the down hill race and placed second in the combined down for which he received as a prize, several steam bath tickets which may be purchased cheap from the winner, Mr. Frank Featherstone hill and slalom.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The entries in the “Par-a-dice Inn” guestbook continued until December 27, 1952, a fascinating record of cabin life in the early days on Hollyburn

Hollyburn Ridge cabins

Hollyburn Mountain & Mount Strachan