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Lou Haynes

January 20, 2005

OBITUARY: Lou Haynes

Unique log home a legacy


Tribune Staff Writer

Long time Chilcotin resident Lou Haynes passed away in Chilliwack on January 20 at the age of 89.

Born in England on July 8, 1915 during the First World War, Lou spent his growing up years in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island before moving to Tatlayoko Valley in 1930 with his mother, Del Naomi Haynes, and three of his four brothers, Ray, Laurie and Ken.

One of his first tasks after arriving in Tatlayoko was to pitch in with the whole community build the valley’s first schoolhouse. Lou took to his new home readily and spent his early years cowboying and building fence throughout the Chilcotin.

His first real cowboying job was working for Duke Martin at C-1 Ranch at Alexis Creek. For two winters he shot wild horses during the great culling of feral horses throughout the Chilcotin to make room on the range for cattle grazing.

Lou later worked for Chilco Ranch then got married and had one daughter, Joanne Garrett, now of Kamloops.

In 1948 Lou and his family moved to Kamloops where he worked as the city waterworks foreman. Later he had his own horselogging outfit in Kamloops, and worked at various locations up the North Thompson River. Lou separated from his family and eventually returned north to the Cariboo, and back to the Chilcotin again.

In 1969 Lou married Doris Simpson and together they built up a resort on Eagle Lake 10 kilometres east of Tatla Lake. For four or five years Lou worked as the fire suppression foreman at the Tatla Lake Ranger Station, then he and Doris established a ranch on the south shore of Eagle Lake.

Never one to do things without a flair, Lou built an eight-sided log house for him and Doris to live in overlooking their Eagle Lake ranch property.

Lou proved he was of hardy stock when he survived an ordeal that would likely have killed a lesser man. He was in his 70s when the snowmachine he was riding crashed into a tree in a remote location, badly breaking his leg. Only the timely first-aid and run for medical help by his friend and trapping partner Lynn Stanton, saved Lou’s life.

While he regained his health, Lou lost the lower part of one leg as a result of the mishap, but learned to walk and even drive his vehicle with a prosthesis and remained his dapper self to the end.

For the last 15 years of his life, Lou lived with Doris in the small community of Yarrow near Chilliwack.

Asked to give a definitive statement about his older brother, Laurie Haynes describes Lou as a “hell of a good cowboy.”

“He was one of the top hands. He broke horses and Lou, Ray and I built fences for the ranches all over the Chilcotin, across the big flat at Alexis Creek and over at Bull Canyon. What Lou couldn’t dream up, his friend Joe Purjue could.”

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