Category Archives: First Cabin

Barney French


Barney came to witch our land in 1972. This is the lower part of the ten acres. I got Barney to do the upper part where, years later we drilled and found tons of water. I asked him to teach me the dousing procedure. He stood behind me over the witch spot. Then he put his big huge paws around my hands (I was holding the stick) and , magically, the stick went down! He said “You’re not holding it tight enough”. I gripped it tighter. He covered my hands and the stick went down again, only this time it scraped flesh off my hands!

To this day I enjoy showing people how to witch. The best are the people who don’t believe in dousing. Such a pleasure when the stick goes down in their hands.


We first moved to Hornby in 1972 and built a cabin in preparation for the big house.

One morning, early on in the game, we heard a machine working the driveway. Up the back porch came Eddie Westwood who worked for BC Tel at the time.

Fast Eddie logging in the fifties.

He told us to get ready for a telephone line. Around the corner came a small backhoe digging a trench from the main road. Edie told us that the company was going underground for all connections. The line was put in and we had a phone!

Not for long. BC Tel decided to abandon their planĀ  as the buried cable was getting dug up right and left all over the island. Too much construction at the time. Shortly afterward the telephone line came through the sky. Of course this was Hornby so the cable was attached to trees.