George Blackstock Family

Hugh Blackstock in 1957. He is the only member of this family that we have a picture of.
Hugh Blackstock in 1957. He is the only member of this family that we have a picture of.

George Blackstock, brother of Robert Blackstock of Hammond, was born in 1842, and was also a resident of Maple Ridge.  George arrived in 1888 as a railway worker, and took up land in Yennadon, immediately north of Maple Ridge Park.  George was a widower who started a fairly substantial logging operation on the Alouette property, using the river to transport his logs down to the Pitt.

The New Westminster Columbian reports on May 2nd, 1893, of a terrible accident while logging:

George Blackstock, the well-known logger of Maple Ridge, met with a terrible accident yesterday morning while felling a tree on his ranch near the Lillooet River.  He went out alone about 7 o’clock in the morning, and the first tree he cut lodged in another near-by.  While endeavouring to spring in the butt from the stump, the tree fell unexpectedly, crushing Mr. Blackstock under it.  An ordinary man would have laid under the trunk, and died there, but the genial George refused to be killed so easily, he has the strength of an ox, and lots of that stuff in him out of which heroes are made.  With a horrible gash in his head, his right shoulder smashed, eight ribs crushed in, his right leg terribly cut and bruised and his ankle broken, Mr. Blackstock worked himself out and made his way, by crawling and rolling, over a mile to the house of the nearest neighbour.

[…] he was taken to Port Haney and brought to the city last evening by the Whatcom train.  Doctors Fagan and Walker attended to his injuries at St. Mary’s Hospital, where Mr. Blackstock is likely to remain for several months.  Dr. Fagan says an ordinary man would hardly have survived the accident, but there is every probability of complete recovery in this case.

In 1886 George had remarried to Clara May Stephens, a woman half his age, to the cheers and well-wishes of his many friends and neighbours.  The couple had two children, Frank and Hugh John.  Frank married a woman named Blonde Seattle, who was chair of the local school board for many years, as well as chairman of the BC School Trustees Association.  She was also very active on the local real estate scene until her death at the age of 56 in 1959.

Hugh Blackstock followed in his father’s footsteps and was a life-long logger. He was first elected to Maple Ridge Council in 1961 and then again from 1963 to 1968.