History of the Blackwood family in Dunster, British Columbia

Purpose of this site

The Short Story

Marjorie Blackwood and Beatrice Blackwood with the family collies, Dixie and Sandy. The Blackwoods bred pure collies and shipped the puppies  off to new owners by train. Beatrice recalls cleaning up the pups and dowsing them in baby powder to ship them.


The Collies

This website has been generated to have a common platform for the history of the Blackwood family that pioneered in Dunster, B.C. We believe this site when complete will tell an important family story to which we can direct our children, grandchildren, and generations to come. We believe it is best to capture and document this story now, in 2015 while survivors can relate the story. As more information and material surface we will continue to update and publish the site. 

Robert and Amanda Blackwood were newly wed with one child, Robert Jr. ( born 1915 in Minneapolis ) when they decided to take a great adventure and become pioneers in the northern part of British Columbia. Robert arrived first at the insistence of his brother Tom who worked for the Grand Trunk railroad. Tom told Robert about the great opportunity to get land for a low price. So he arrived first in approximately 1915 and stayed with Tom at his cabin in Dunster. There he made his preparations for his wife and baby son to arrive. 

Amanda Blackwood arrived at Dunster in 1917 ( approx ) with baby Robert and after getting off the train stood alone in the cold for a long time before Robert arrived. They then had to walk to Tom's cabin through the snow and across the frozen river. They stopped at neighbours where Amanda borrowed some boots for the trek. 

Soon after,  they purchased the land bordering the Fraser River and about 2 miles from the railway station. The Blackwood farm is on the north side of the river.  The farm size now is about 400 acres. Initially the farm produced cereal crops as well as grass hay ( Timothy ) and they raised some cows as well. The additional money needed to sustain the family came from supplying split cedar fence posts to Alberta farmers, and hay to local loggers still using horses for logging.

Two more children came along in 1927 and 1929. Marjorie was first and Beatrice came later. Marjorie passed away in 2014 after living a great life in Vancouver, raising 3 children ( Keith, Lorne, and Janice ). Beatrice is still living in North Vancouver, after raising 5 children ( Michael, Nancy, Patty, Marsha, and Linda ). Robert Blackwood Jr raised 5 children ( Kenneth, Carol, Geri, Kelly, and Shane ). Robert Jr passed away in 1963. Robert Blackwood passed away in 1972 at age 80 and Amanda lived to be nearly 101.