Street Names

Boswell Street

Born in California at the end of the last century, William (Bill) Boswell spent the 1890's prospecting for gold and hunting in Alaska. Following an accidental gun-shot wound to one elbow which left him with a permanently stiff arm, he moved to San Francisco and worked on the horse-drawn street cars until the 1906 earthquake. After a short period as a dray man in Seattle, he arrived in Canada with Billy Waddell. By 1908 they were both employed by the Ward mine in Horsefly B.C.

After the mine closed, he variously prospected the upper Horsefly River area for gold in the summer and trapped in the Crooked lake area in the winters. A life-long bachelor (women were in short supply in the early years!), he helped convert the Delair house into the Bull Moose Club (another story). During 1926 through 1928 he acted as secretary for the Horsefly Social Club, forerunner of the Community Club, which was privately owned and run by a group of shareholders.

Bill was very social, always attending the dances, especially at New Years. He usually brewed the coffee to accompany supper in a large wash boiler, whilst visiting the ladies.

In later years Bill shared a home, situated on the present Valburg property, with another bachelor, Ted King. Ted did all the cooking, and grew a big garden while Bill put up all the hay and looked after the horses. He also trapped east of Moffat Creek and south of the Horsefly River, using a small cabin he had built in the Woodjam Valley.

In March 1951 a fire completely destroyed their home. It started when Bill was at a dance. As news reached the hall, all the men dashed off to save what they could but Bill, in the kitchen with the ladies, didn't hear the call! Everything movable was saved including the window frames and the wood stove with the fire still in it. The only loss was the home-canned vegetables stored in the root cellar.
Ted collapsed from exhaustion just as Bill came dashing up prepared to save his friend. Fortunately both men recovered and were able to rebuild.

Bill lived in until 1962, and is buried in Mountview Cemetery.

A lake east of Likely bears his name, and of course our own Boswell Street which runs from the Corner House through town to the junction of Mitchell Bay Road /Hooker Road.
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