A BRIEF HISTORY OF APPLEGROVE ROAD
By late Bill Laux
In 1969 Elsje De Boer and her husband from Calgary bought the old Aspinall place at the Fauquier end of Applegrove Road. Starting in 1976 they used it for summer outings. The following year Elsje had Bill Jeffries build a sleeping cabin on the place. In 1987 her son built her a permanent house and after Jim Huth and Bill Laux completed the interior finishing, she moved in.
In 1979 Robin and Dorothy Huth, from Calgary, with the Madills and Stevensons were able to buy lakefront lot 8099 from Weinberg, a Portland, Oregon real estate speculator. This man had for years had an agent in Victoria instructed to put a $50 bid on every piece of waterfront property in British Columbia that came up for Tax Sale. By the time of the dam construction in 1967 it turned out that he owned between 100 and 200 properties on Arrow Lake. Robin Huth and his son, Jim, were able to put in a steep, many switch backed road to access it from Applegrove Road. In 1980 Jim and Rae Ann Huth built a lakefront cabin at the foot of this road and moved in. Jim began building his parents a house nearby. The Madills, rejecting the difficulties of the access road, bought in Fauquier instead. The Stevensons went to New Zealand.
Eric Arnold, a millwright from Squamish, bought lakeshore lot 8098, probably from Weinberg, about this time and built a small house on float logs, which he moored at the lakeshore. Unfortunately, a storm the next year wrecked the unprotected structure. His wife was not comfortable in so isolated a location, so the Arnolds left.
Jim and Rae Ann Huth left about 1990 for Vancouver Island and Robin and Dorothy lived in happy near-seclusion in their lakeshore home until medical problems required a move to Salmon Arm. They sold it as a retirement property to a German couple, Sabine and Karl-Heinz Mocikat, about 2000. Jim and Rae Ann’s cabin was rebuilt to a house by Bob and Monique Gellatly, an Ontario couple, who lived there for a few years, while he worked locally as a plumber. It was later bought as a summer place by Borowski, an engineer from Calgary, who is building a second house on it,
The first telephone line came up Applegrove Road in 1979 and BC
Hydro followed when the Burmeisters from Germany bought the Bruner place from Peter Makar’s wife in 1990. They had the lovely “cedar tunnel,” a true scenic treasure, felled on the lower part of the Applegrove Road and hydro poles run into their place. The Burmeisters set up resort accommodations down on the lake and operate as Kokanee Bay Resort and Farm.
In 1994 the Hydro lines were extended up Applegrove Road to Glasheens, Nila Campbell an4 Eichenauers. Jimmi Mead stuck with her solar power as she still does.
Lillian Liberty bought part of the old Sherwood property next to Lee Helle in 1989 and had a house built with a magnificent view of the lake below and Edgewood opposite. Like many earlier Applegrove residents she depends on solar and water power for electricity.
In 1994 the Highways Department was still insisting on calling and signing Applegrove Road as “Fauquier Upper Road,” a vague and meaningless name. Bill Laux, having got agreement from all the landholders along the road, petitioned Highways for a change of name, as the Applegrove Site was still Iisted on B.C. Government maps. On November 23,1994, Highways conceded, and “Fauquier Upper Road” became officially “Applegrove Road” and was so signed.
Hydro power was extended from Burmeisters to Bumpus and Laux in 1996 and the days of kerosene lamps, carrying messages to town by horseback and noisy diesel generators were now over for them.
A new couple, Marney and Zane Kushniryk bought Nila Campell’s “Retreat Centre” in 1999 and moved in the next year to build two unique and secluded rental cabins as a source of income.
Ken and Denise Douglas arrived about the same time, buying one of the Haugland lots above Elsje De Boer’s.
Canadians, Americans, Germans, Dutch, there is still a strong and unique degree of like-mindedness among most of the residents of Applegrove Road. For nearly a hundred years the dusty road to Taite Creek and beyond has supported a succession of groups of homesteaders, communitarians and others eager to invent their own ways of living. They value the area for what it is, an unspoiled and undeveloped area of mountain slope and lakefront, whose residents still grow much of their food and live as their convictions have told them they must.