A History of the Burns Family
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Big Lake  

1 - D.A. Burns
2 - Big Lake
3 - Ada & Guy
4 - Ebba & Elna
5 - Don & Helen
6 - Dave & Wilma
7 - Bob & Betty


Beginning at the beginning, the rod repairman, whom I think you remember, bought 14 acres on the shore of Big Lake, which is 6 or 7 miles long and 1 to 1 and 1/2 milies wide and which is some 35 miles from Williams Lake, the nearest town to the place.

He bought it with the idea of forming a little club of 6 or 7 fellows who were congenial and clean livers and with that in mind called it the "Caribou Anglers" and immediately set out to find 5 more fellows who would fit into the picture.

Dave and I were over there one evening and he told us about it. We immediately signifed our willingness to come in, so it was settled.

It cost us $500.00 for rights in the group, and it will cost us approximately 6 or 7 hundred more to build and finish the cabin. It is a beautiful location at the north end of the lake. The grounds are quite like a little park with a full view of the whole length of the lake, in a country that abounds in game, birds, and fish. Moose, deer, elk, geese, ducks, pheasants, and all other wildlife natural to the country...

We made arrangements to build a cabin in the spring (there are already 3 cabins built). Ours will be very similar to Ames Lake -- 18 x 24 with an eight-foot porch -- situated in a little clump of spruce and aspen with the road in the rear and a wide open view of the lake in front.

You will note that I said a road which means we won't need any damn horses to get there.

The Lake is as clear as crystal with a nice shallow beach with a sandy and pebbly bottom ideal for bathing. The lake has large trout, particularly lake trout and rainbow, and the adjacent country is full of lakes and streams as you will note on the map, and many others (smaller ones are not shown). There is an abundance of game and birds in the country so that you kids will have a lovely opportunity to both fish and hunt....

--Letter from Guy to Bob, October 4, 1944


Location of Big Lake, B. C.




They did built that cabin. And after they finally retired Guy and Ada spent much of each summer there, Ada somewhat grudgingly, since Guy’s sociability made the cabin a magnet for local folk looking for a good gab, when her dream would have been a quiet sit on the porch, looking south toward the lake through her delphiniums and the hummingbirds they attracted.


To the original cabin – which boasted a large main room with stone fireplace, a backporch with a chipped white-painted bowl for washing up, a loft reached by ladder, and wide porch outfitted with bunks for naps or nighttime slumber – were added a workshop/outhouse, a boathouse, and a smokehouse.  Grandpa built two sturdy skiffs, painted dark green, in which he plied the lake and sampled its fishy wares. Each summer brought new refinements, although it was with mixed feelings I saw the red-handled kitchen water pump give way to modern plumbing.

The cabin was a gathering place for the family for many years.  Davy manages it now, and has created a memorial walk through the woodlot, with benches and other markers to commemorate the elders who have passed – Guy and Ada, Bob and Betty, Don and Helen, and Dave and Wilma, and Ebba and Elna.