Fishing forum > A very sad day.

Author Topic: A very sad day.

Well my dad and I went fishing on the Silver River up Harrison East fsr yesterday. I have been fishing up there since I was old enough to drive and every time I went in I'd stop to see Lester, a hermit, the only person that still lives at the second logging camp. He's been there in his mobile with his dogs for over 17 years. He is known for helping people out that are stuck or in need in the bush. Fixing flat tires or driving people out when their vehicle gets stuck. Well yesterday we popped in and noticed his house was gone. He was still there however, in his camperised van. We asked him where his house was and he pointed to a pile of rubble. "I went into town for some groceries and someone came and burned it to the ground for me." He said he arrived home just to see the last bit burnning out. He now has 2 makshift grave sites next to his old house. One for Sady and the other for Rex. They were his dogs that this person saw fit to burn down with his house. This truely was the saddest day of fishing I've ever had. Next weekend I will be driving him out a care package along with an Easter dinner. He wants to rebuild, has a positive look on life and is dettermined to stay. Shortly after he lost everything the Chehalis natives heard of his misfortune and drove him out 2 black lab puppies wich I think helped him more than anything material anyone could have given him. If anyone has an old trailor they would donate or even some used building material please let me know. I hate to see him holed up in a camper van.
Sorry for the long post but it weighs heavy on me to see him like this. He's a real good people.

thats horrible ive never met him but it reminds me of how malacious some folks are in the bush. i never go offroad without a knife and its not for protection from animals!

I would love to help this poor man out. Please call me and we can figure out what I can donate to help him out.

Rick 604-722-0491

im sure those dogs the natives donated will make all the difference.

Yeah the dogs will definately help.
Rick, I forgot to mention that although he may be technicaly squatting he did work for the camps that were in that location and just never left. If I'm not mistaken he's been there going on close to 30 years. He's a senior and has no income other than his old age pension and any cans or bottles people drop off to him on the way out. I try to gather as many as I can while I'm tromping around up there for him.(and of course because they shouldn't be left there in the first place)

If you can get around to Surrey before you go up I can give you 4-5 Large garbage bags full of bottles for him.

when you see him, get a list of what he most needs. like if hes out there and doesnt have a coleman stove or a knife or axe hes in for a rough go, tho they arent cheap.

When we were out there I asked him if he had heat, he said he's got a propane stove in his campervan. I know he's got lots of firewood for now anyways. I'll make sure he gets more when he needs it. (it's not hard to find on Harrison) I think his biggest problem right now is he doesn't have the room for everything even if he got it. We're looking into a couple of campers for him. One 8' and one 9'. Again not much room but at least it's something.

I will however ask him what his emmediate needs are and go from there. Thanks for your concern guys. I know he'd appreciate it.

bushman camaradery is a rare quality. i try my best to keep the tradition alive.

Crawdaddy, Call me at 604-722-0491. I have found a trailer for him thru One of the guys would like to take it up to him on Thursday night, but he needs the info, so call me and we can get this arranged.

Thanks Rick.

Crawdaddy, Make sure you call me. I spoke to the guy Via phone last night about the trailer. It belongs to his freind and he told me they would love to bring it to him Thursday night or Friday. It is a 20' trailer in decent condition so this sounds like a good thing .

fisher 696

My hat's off to you gentlemen. All to often shitty things happen to people and in todays world we turn a blind eye to it because we don't want to get involved. WAY too much pc BS. To see people banding together to help someone in need is refreshing. I am a carpenter by trade and I would be glad and proud to offer my help. I am available Friday or Saturday. Post here to let me know. Shane

Rick, I called Ron but there was no answer. Left him a message but he never returned my call last night.

I have also called and left a message. I hope to hear from him today. I am just hoping he wasn't pulling my chain with his offer, as soon as I speak to him I'll make sure he calls you.


Yeah, I hope not. At least he's not expecting us, only we will be let down. If I don't hear from him tonight I'll try putting an add on Craigslist and a few other places. See what I can dig up.

Shane, thanks for hopping on board. I'm not sure we're ready for your talents right yet but may take you up on the offer in the near future.

Sorry Crawdaddy, Ron Bailed out. He called and told me that his buddy gave the trailer to his Brother.
He also told me that he had a line on another one, but I won't hold my breath.

I am going to go to some of the RV dealers in Langley tomorrow and see if I can rumage up a older used one from one of them. I am usually good at talking people into things like this, so I'll do the hole sob story thing and see if I can get one donated to him from one of the RV dealers in exchange for putting their name on my blog and website.

I will let you know if I get anywhere.

Later Rick

Sounds good. In the meantime my cousin has a camper he's willing to give up so we'll likely go see that tommorrow. I think he said it's a 9'. Not as nice as having a trailer but... I really don't think he'd be picky. Good luck with your hunt.

spoke to a few managers today. Hope to have an answer by Monday on a few prospects.

We'll be going to see that 9" on Sat morning 9 am. If it looks good we're going to load it up and drive it in for him. At least then he'll have something a bit bigger than his van. Not to mention with the raised bunk he may be able to keep the dogs from ripping up his sleeping bag while they play. I figure I may just take my rod and try the river again too. I mean... while I'm in the area right? Any excuse I can get....

I had an offer of 2x4, 2x6, and 2x10. Do you think he would need some?
let me know.

I'll be able to let you know tommorrow night likely. If we do take him that camper I'll ask him what he's planning and what he needs.

Well, we went up to Lesters with that 9' camper on Sat. afternoon. I think he was overwhelmed. It isn't pretty but it's got 10 times the room. Not to mention it has a shower and a toilet. It needs some drying out as it leaks a bit (maby alot) but we took a fresh tarp and some 4x4s to level it on a frame. He's pretty excited to be able to sleep on something bigger and softer than the 2 1/2 foot wide plywood bed he's on now. We positioned it so his big window in the eating area faces the lake, like his living room used to, and it's positioned close enough to hook up to the septic. We also gave him a new sleeping bag and a warm jacket as well as some misc odds and ends, towels and such.
I asked him what he needs and he told me nothing. After a little encouragment he pulled out a list of materials that he was told he would need in order to build a 12' x 35' home on the existing mobile frame. Just enough for a small bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and a little living room. The list is as follows:
40 - 12' 2x8 (Floor joist)
15 sheets 5/8" ply. Tounge & groove (floor)
100 - 8' 2x4 (frame)
24 sheets 3/8" ply. (walls)

Shane does this sound accurate to you? Could he use exterior OSB instead of ply? I also don't see plands for a roof. He does still have all the tin from his old place and it's still in reasonable shape.
He doesn't mind using second hand timber and isn't scared of pulling nails so if anyone has any reasonable wood please let me know either here or by e-mail.
Thanks alot guys

Maybe we can gather a bunch of guys together from here and FlyBC and go up one weekend and get it all framed up for him.

I will see what the guy on FlyBC has for wood and we can go from there.
A good Fishing buddy of mine owns a prefab house building company and i'LL talk to him and see if we can get some Plywood, nails, Screws, and 2x's off him to help out.
He is a DIE HARD fisherman and would probably lend a hand.
I will talk to him and let you Know.

Sounds good. I'm going to put a few adds up for free wood wanted. See what I can scare up.

I spoke to my friend. He told me he would look around the lot to see what he has. He also suggested to go to a certian lumber yard and mention his name. He told me they may be able to get us a few loads of 2x's for free because they are grey faded wood that they cannot sell.

I'll be going there tomorrow to talk to them, i;ll keep you informed of what i come up with.

Is this the Logging Camp that sits on the road just off Harrison lake on your way through to Boston Bar? Please keep the info posted as to when a work party may be going up as I would be more than willing to help. I'll see what items I can come up with.

Sounds good Rick.

Gecko, yes it is. What used to be the second camp. The first camp is still semi-active and has 3-4 homes there as well as equipment. The second camp is just Lester and his dogs. We'll keep posting info as to what's going on here, that way everyone can see what stage we are at. Until there's enough wood to build a place, no sense getting everyone up there but I really do appreciate everyones concern and I know Lester does too.
Thanks again guys.

I'm impressed with the compassion here and very glad to see such a thing still exists, i haven't been on this forum for a while as it seemed to be getting some weird peeps, but if genuine help is needed I'd be willing to come up and help as well, have ok handyman skills, can operate power tools/equipment and such
let us know when you really need a crew....


Hello Guys,

This is certainly a touching story and I would like to help.

Please post info on when a crew might be heading out to help with the construction. I am not a tradesman, but am a "jack of all trades" and done plenty of renovations.

If there is a generator on site I could bring some of my power tools.

I work in the pest control industry and we have a product that prevents wood from being damaged by pests (termites, ants, beetles etc.) and inhibits mold. I would be happy to pre-treat the lumber (free of charge of course).

I will see if I can drum up some lumber as well.

Send me an email ( I do not read these forums daily):


flyfisher582 did you say you had just taken down a deck? I'm trying to remember where I heard someone took down their deck and offered the wood but my memory loses things on me...

Ya I did, i will have to see what condition the wood is in. There are a sh**load of nails in the wood though so there will be alot on nail pulling involved.

I will have an answer this weekend from a local supplier, I may be getting a FULL lift of 2x4s and a half lift of 2x6s for free. The wood is fine just has turned Grey and they can;t sell it so i'm crossing my fingers for the good word.

That's great news! We'll just keep our fingers crossed. As for the deck material, if the lumber is still reasonable we'll deal with the nails. A couple years ago (maby even last year...)there was a forest fire up be Lesters. The Fire servive guys had tents that used 2x4 frames set up everywhere. When they left they gave Lester the 2x4s as they were going to garbage them. He pulled all the nails and offered them to anyone who could use them, including me. He just didn't want to see all the good wood go to waste. When we were up there he was saying hind sight is 20/20, he gave away the 2x4s he had, and now needs. There was probably close to enough to frame his house.

Well, we've had some donations for Lesters dogs. LOTS actually. Food (3-6 months worth), wormer, flea & tick meds, toys, and an offer to spay & neuter both of the pups. My origional post has been reposted in a few places and some people are saying Hey, I remember that guy. He helped me gather firewood or drove me home or whatever he may have helped with so they are more than happy to help out. I think it's karma coming back around to Lester for being such a good guy.

Next weekend we will be going up with a load of dog stuff and whatever lumber we can get our hands on. If anyone has some they would like us to take up please let me know.
Thanks guys

This is great. What goes around... I would be interested in going up with a work party on a Wednesday or Sunday, I have never been in that area. Have pickup, chainsaw and some carpentry skills, will travel.

Thanks roym, we're attempting to get building materials donated at the moment. This may take a while but we will keep updating as we get closer to a build date. If you know of anywhere to get free lumber (legally) please let me know.
Thanks again

I just got back from a meeting with Terry from southridge builing supplies. He has told me they would help out as much as they can.
He told me he would call me by the weekend and tell me how much, but it looks like it may be enough to complete the building. He will have it ready for us to pick up by mid next week so we will need to get a few of us with trucks out to pick it up and bring it out to the site of the build.
We should be getting 2x4s, 2x6s, and maybe some plywood.

Call me at 604-722-0491 and we can try to make arrangment for pick up next week.

I have posted Lester's story on Fun in BC
A lot of folks there are planning trips up
I hope everyone can coordinate their efforts.
Here is a recent post

donations for lester (east harrison road)


please read this if this post doesn't make sence i posted on page 3 to see my whole post.

this is my question to you guys and gals if you have anything to donate please post it i will run around until i leave with my jeep and utility trailer to collect. we will be leaveing for harrison friday april 27 at night so if you have anything...

he would need building supplies
-nails, screws, wood of all types from 2x4 - 6x6 - 2x12 (other things previously listed
tar paper
an have ything scraps of wood small unusable can just be burnt
tools any old tools you may have 3 of im sure he could use. hammer screw drivers saws automotive tools( he may one day help fix ur truck with those tools)
jerry cans tarps shovels rakes
chain saw
gas powered equipment
household stuff - towels blankets cloths books kitchen supplies
stuff for dogs-he went after the fire and purchased ( or got ) a 1 year old dog from the spca and as said the local native band donated him 2 puppys
-leaches dog food bowls collers dog food keep in mind pupply are small now but i think they are black lab x so will be big eventually.
money to help buy doog food and human food

im sure there is plenty more things that can be thought of by you if you got it let me know.

lets try to keep this tread down to posts of only what you have to donate so we can keep it more organized. comment in the other thread.

if others want to come up and camp with us and help bring stuff you are more than welcome

Tommy hunter
604 340 1947

if you have something to donate post it
with your post leave your info so i can contact you
phone number

Last edited by killer toy : Yesterday at 08:08 PM.

While I appreciate everyones efforts, I'm not sure that we should all be planning trips up to wish him well. He is after all living away from people and has been for a long time. I'm sure he has reasons for that and I'm not going to ask. The last thing I want from this is a for me to have started a chain of strangers going up to bring him a ton of stuff he has no room for. Keep in mind at the moment he's in a 9' camper.

My biggest concern is that he be subjected to a constant buzz of people he doesn't know when he's living in the bush, I assume, to be away from all the people.
If you have met Lester or you know Lester, by all means go and see him. If you don't know him, consider the fact that he may not want bunches of people he doesn't know popping in.
I'm can't speak for Lester, I just don't want him pissed at me for ruining his peace & quiet.

If anyone would like to contact me regarding coordination of efforts plese do.
Cell - 604-340-5478
E-mail -

Well we went up to Lesters today with the load of dog food and toys that were donated (2 large bins of puppy food, 1 large bin of treats & 1 large bin of toys) We hardly recognized the camper. He's patched the damage on the rear, braced the overhang (it was sagging a bit), dried it out and calked the leaks. He's also cleaned it up substantially and hooked up to water/sewer/propane. The furnace and hot water won't work yet but he's got some idea as to what's wrong. The stove and oven work perfect and he said he's already been baking bread in it.
When we gave him all the stuff he said it really touched his heart that people remembered him and have helped out so much.
Little does he know...
Some others from the Fun in B.C. websight have also joined in the effort and by the sounds of it we've got some more plywood as well as labourers and more...
Rick have you heard anything from Southridge yet? If everything goes well we may shoot for a May Long build but.... we'll see. I'm not going to count chickens before they hatch. Not going to set a definate date until the materials are there.
Anyways that's my update. I'll keep everyone posted on what's going on.
Thanks again

Oh yeah, dad caught Lester a nice 2lb rainbow in the Silver River while we were up there so he's had a good super tonight too.

I'll be talking to Randy at Southridge tomorrow (Monday)

I'll let you know what happens.

I'm really glad to know he got all that dog stuff so quickly. I m making arrangments for the last lot to be picked up and I will get it to you hopefully by the weekend. At least he won't have to worry about anything for the dogs for awhile.

Just one last update....... Lester has contacted the person I told him to see in Chilliwack and both his pups will go into the vet Weds morning to be fixed and get all their shots.
People have been just great with all of this and I am truely amazed at the support that has been offered. Now if we can only get his place rebuilt, Lester should be a happy camper.

That's awsome to hear! He had said he'd be coming in this week. He was pretty happy with all the offer.(and all the stuff) As for rebuilding...

Rick have you heard anything yet?

Rick you still with us? I take it it didn't work out?

sorry guys, I have been laid out in bed the past few days with a f**ked up neck. I will be going to southridge tomorrow, (if I feel OK)and find out.

If I still feel like s**t I will call him and see whats up...

I spoke to Randy at Southridge today, He assured me that they will help us out with the lumber. He has not had the time to look around the yard yet, but did say that he would do it in the next day or so.

It sounds like we will need to get the wood out of there ASAP once he gets us the word. I do have some space to store it at my place until we decide to go up, But I will need to get some help to bring it over. By the sounds of it we will be getting 2-3 large PU trucks worth of lumber so we will need some help transporting it. I live 3 blocks away from the yard so this should be very easy to do.

I will post again as soon as I hear from them.

That's awsome Rick. I was starting to wonder if you'd forgotten about us. Sorry to hear 'bout your neck, hope it feels better soon. I don't think it will be a problem getting the wood as you said you have a pickup, my dad has a pickup and I've got a trailer. By the sounds of it we're heading up this Saturday morning again but whenever Southridge wants the wood out of the yard we'll make ourselves available.
Thanks again.

Hey Rick, if this isn't going to happen anytime soon I'm going to start working on getting it elsewhere. I don't mean to be rude or impatient but not having talked to the guy myself I don't know how serious he is about it and the main item we need now is lumber.
By the sounds of it we'll already have most of the ply. I've got some windows and some t&g spruce for the interior. We've even got some stuff up there already. I've got a company that's willing to come up and build kitch/bath cabinets free of charge and I believe I've got countertop for them as well. The next time dad and I are up we're going to take Lesters wood stove so dad can sandblast it and give it a fresh coat of paint as well as replace the front glass.
Anyways, if you could hastle Ridgview one more time next week and let me know, that would be great. Otherwise I'm going to draft a letter and send it to the managers of the local lumber yards. Thanks

Sorry, hastle southridge. Ridgeview won't know what you're talking 'bout.

Hey Crawdaddy, give me a call.



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