The year was 1920 when a family moved from Shrewsbury, England, to Doe River, just north of Dawson Creek.
A family farm was established and now 100 years later, Evans Farms is British Columbia’s latest recipient of the Century Farm Award.
“I want to thank the Evans family for sharing their story with us,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Century Farm Awards celebrate British Columbia’s farming and ranching pioneers and congratulations are due to Evans Farms on being such a big part of the Peace region for the past 100 years.”
Once they arrived from England, Benjamin and Ellen Holloway and their children, William, Cyril and Dorothy, started farming. Three of their adult children, Alfred, George and Ethel, remained in England. Benjamin, Alfred and Cyril each filed on a quarter section of the farm property. In 1934, Dorothy married William Evans and they had two children, William (Bill) and Mona. The family owned cows and grew some grain crops. William passed away in 1947 and Dorothy continued to farm with her son Bill.
In the meantime, John and Lenore Albright acquired a quarter section of land for their farm in July 1920 after moving from Whitman, Wash. They brought with them their son Russell, and daughters Gladys and Mabel. Lenore died in 1928, followed by her husband John in 1958. Russell started farming in the early 1930’s. He hired a housekeeper, Minnie Cornish, a divorced mother of four and the two married. They had three more children together, including a daughter, Marion.
In the 1970’s, Russell and Minnie moved to town and their original quarter section was sold. However, by this time, Bill Evans and Marion Albright married and began farming on the property, alongside Dorothy. Bill and Marion had four sons: William, Wade, Desmond and Glyn. All were raised on the farm in Doe River. In 1999, Bill and Marion’s son, Glyn, and his wife Stephanie came back to the farm, eventually buying seven more quarter sections of land, including the original quarter section of John and Lenore Albright.
“These two families I descend from have been closely intertwined since settling here in 1920,” said Glyn Evans. “As all pioneers did, they relied on each other as neighbors. Minnie, my maternal grandmother, acted as midwife for the birth of my father. My mom and dad grew up just a half mile from each other. The farm still acts as an anchor to the family. My maternal uncles and cousins often visit, as do the cousins on the paternal side and my brothers and their children are on the farm daily.”
Today, Evans Farms is a cow-calf operation on more than 850 hectares (2,100 acres). The family grows some grain crops, mostly for feed. Glyn and Stephanie have four daughters, and the sixth generation, Glyn and Stephanie’s two granddaughters and their grandson, have attended their first spring brandings at the family farm. Bill and Marion are still active on the farm and their granddaughter Sierra and her partner Tim have cattle on the property ensuring the next generation is well in hand at Evans Farms.
Century Farm Awards honour agricultural organizations that have been active for a century or longer, as well as pioneers whose farms and ranches have been in families for 100 years or more. Each Century Farm Award celebrates the rich heritage of farming and ranching families and organizations in B.C.
For more information about B.C.'s Century Farm program, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/century-farm-awards