L’Heureux Road

Feature type: road
Province: British Columbia
Location: Loops S off Hwy 16 at Tête Jaune
Joseph Emery L’Heureux and his wife Dorothy Edith (born Dundas, Ontario, 1896, d. 1967) settled near Mount Robson in 1936 or 37. He was listed in the 1937 Tête Jaune voters’ list as a farmer. The L’Heureux’s started up a tourist outfitting business, and when war interrupted the venture they sold and moved near Tête Jaune when Joe had homesteaded several years before. They trapped up Swift Current Creek in the 1950s. In 1969, Joe took up residence in the men’s provincial home in Kamloops.

The Robson Valley Courier newspaper published the following article when Joe left McBride:

The story of his life presents itself as a mosaic of colour and action. He has been waterboy, logger, trapper, millwright, carpenter, forester, guide jeweler, homesteader, soldier and an employee with the engineering department of the B.C. Highways. Joe is a self-made man in the truest sense of the word. Orphaned at the age of 8 when his father died (his mother died when he was 5) he was farmed out to families who agreed to keep him. At the age of 12 he decided to go on his own, and took French leave. “I got a job as waterboy in a logging camp,” he reminisces. “I determined to make something of myself, and I had only myself to rely on. I didn’t have a single relative on the North American continent.” He went to night schools while he was working days, and sometimes had saved money so that he could go to regular day schools, for a few weeks at a time, sometimes several months at one stretch. He read innumerable books on construction, so that at last he could get jobs with construction crews; he did the same with lumberman’s manuals, ant at last could do millwright work and general mechanics. He married in 1936, and he and his new bride moved to a place in the Mt Robson area, where he built a home and set up a camp for hunters, for whom he acted as guide. He furnished horses, tents, and pack outfits. During the winter months he trapped up the Swift Current creek.

The L’Heureux’s moved back to the homestead at Tête Jaune after eight years at Robson, and he took a job with the Forest Service. He built the Forest Service buildings there. He is a veteran of the First World War and served four and a half years with the medical corps in France for two years as a first-ad man in the trenches, and later in London in the hospitals. Although the couple had no children, they enjoyed a deeply satisfying and loving life together. Mrs L’Heureux, who died a year and a half ago, was a landscape painter. They made many trips together to scenes she wished to paint. He worked in semi-precious stone, and fashioned many a lovely costume piece from jade, agate, and other jewel stones from around the world. “I hate to leave McBride”, said Joe. “I have so many friends here. But I’m coming back for visits as soon as my eyes get fixed up. I can get that done in Kamloops, one eye at a time, and I’ll be back then.”

References:

  • Robson Valley Courier. Weekly newspaper published by Pyramid Press of Jasper from1969–88.
  • Robson Valley Echo. Weekly newspaper published in Edson from 1962–67.
  • Yellowhead Pass and its people. Valemount, B.C.: Valemount Historic Society, 1984
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