Fonds - Ruth Family fonds

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Ruth Family fonds

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  • 1883-1981 (Creation)
    Ruth (family)
    Salmon Arm

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Physical description

1.1 cm of textual records; 4 photographs

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Percy A. Ruth was a pioneer in the conifer tree seed business in British Columbia and particularly in the Salmon Arm area of Shuswap.

Percy Ruth first came to the Shuswap from Carman, Manitoba in 1907 at the age of 24 years, to visit his sister and brother-in-law. His parents, Mr and Mrs A.R. Ruth moved from Carman to Salmon Arm in 1908 and established a retail business. Subsequently, Percy returned to Salmon Arm to assist in the family business, and in 1913, married Lyla Margaret McDiarmid. Their children were: Dorothy Margaret b. 13 October, 1914; Donald Frederick b. 19 May, 1918; Douglas Stewart b. 11 September, 1932.

Lyla McDiarmid was born in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. Her parents Stuart and Catherine McDiarmid, moved to Salmon Arm in 1909. Lyla was the second eldest of nine children. She was very active in the United church and sang in the choir. She loved skating and long walks and her family was very important to her.

At the outbreak of WWI, Percy joined the Rocky Mountain Rangers and became a sergeant in the Military Police stationed in Kamloops. Following the war, a few years were spent working in various jobs at the coast, but prior to 1922, he returned to Salmon Arm. In that year, the Dominion of Canada Forestry Branch Department of the interior established the first seed extraction plant in New Westminster. Four years later, the forestry office in Salmon Arm received a request from the Dominion Forestry Branch for conifer seed.

Percy Ruth welcomed a new business challenge and the promising source of extra income and in 1927 became a seed supplier. His son, Douglas R. Ruth wrote the history of the Conifer Seed Business and dedicated it to the Secwepemc, the First People of the Shuswap who were major contributors to the business with their knowledge and skills.

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Scope and content

The fonds is divided into nine series that contain written histories, photographs, personal memorabilia and uncatalogued ephemera.

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BCAUL control number: SAM-3379

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MS 55

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  • English

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