Author Tags: Local History
Born in Viking, Alberta in 1942, Eleanor Witton Hancock grew up in Zeballos from age three onwards. Her family mainly ran the Zeballos general store after her grandfather Seth Witton purchased it in 1939. Years later, she married a mining engineer, settled in Kamloops and became interested in researching Canada's last signficant gold boom that occurred in Zeballos in 1938.
During the early 1980s, Hancock interviewed 120 people about the pioneers at Nootka Sound, Zeballos and Kyuquot, publishing several articles about old-timers in the Times-Colonist, the Journal of the BC Historical Federation, the Seniors Review and the Bank of British Columbia's Pioneer News.
Including a worthwhile bibliography and photos, her Salt Chuck Stories from Vancouver Island's West Coast (Kamloops: Partners in Publishing / Sandhill Distribution 2006) recalls the Perry Brothers of Nootka Sound, Eva Benjamin of Zeballos, carpenter Alder Bloom, Rebecca McPhee and the Red Cross Hospital at Kyuquot and Swiss trapper/prospector Andy Morod of Nootka Sound.
In addition, she writes about big-time counterfeiters near Yuquot in 1911 and the Gibson Brothers who logged airplane spruce at Zeballos back in the days when there was a house of prostitution prominently located between the town and the mines. The Gibsons later opened up Tahsis for business in 1945 with an export lumber mill.
Hancocks' grandparents Seth and Maude Witton, and her aunt and uncle, Laura and Lloyd Witton, and her parents all knew George Nicholoson, the so-called “Father of Zeballos” during the gold boom. [See George Nicholson entry]
Salt Chuck Stories from Vancouver Island's West Coast (Kamloops: Partners in Publishing / Sandhill Distribution 2006). #308-525 Nicola Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 6J5 $17.95) 0-9739980-3-2
[BCBW 2015] "Local History"