Six months pregnant in 1926, city-raised Olive Spencer headed to the Cariboo with her husband Arthur to escape the Depression and claim 160 acres of Crown land in exchange for hard labour--of two kinds. Their Aboriginal neighbours taught the greenhorns how to fish and they thrived in the community atmosphere, far from the bread lines of Vancouver, in the Deka Lake area, where their son Roland was born.

Loggins recalled crossing frozen Dragonfly Lake with a team of horses only to hear the ice start cracking beneath them. "Our real help came from God," she wrote, "who surely and safely guided us out of danger that night and before we slept we both acknowledged our debt to the Creator of all things on earth."

After her husband died in 1965, she travelled to Ontario visiting their two sons and other relatives. She was re-married to Clinton Loggins of Texas from 1970 to 1976. Born in 1900, Olive Spencer Loggins died in Victoria in 1989.


Tenderfoot Trail: Greenhorns in the Cariboo (Victoria: Sono Nis Press, 1983; 2006; 2014). Interior illustrations by Sonja Maans.

[BCBW 2014] "Ranching" "Cariboo"