Woollard, Grace

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Woollard, Grace

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  • Woollard, Una Grace

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Dates of existence

d. 1969

History

Grace grew up in Ontario. She was married there, however, after the death of her husband and the deaths of her twin sons to whooping cough she decided to go into nursing. In 1912, she was working at a maternity hospital in Vancouver which may have been called Beatty Street Hospital.<sup>1</sup> She first came to Whistler with a friend, Grace Archibald<sup>2</sup>, whose brother, Ernie Archibald<sup>3</sup> was the head surveyor for the railway being built to the north from Squamish. Grace and her friend travelled by steam ship to Squamish. From there they spent two days on horse back traveling to Alta Lake, where the surveying had reached by that time. Grace fell in love with the area. During this visit there was a fairly funny incident in which the red and blue nurses cloaks which the two women put over the curtainless windows of the cabin they were staying in gave off the red glow of that of a brothel. To the men working on the railway, this seemed a very tempting. The next morning, the girls awoke to Ernie Archibald rowing furiously accross the lake to tell them turn their red and blue cloaks around so as not to communicate this message to the workers.

A short while after her first visit to Whistler she married her husband Charles and the two of them returned to Alta Lake. They bought themselves a small quarter of land and had a summer cabin built there. It is most likely that they commissioned someone to build the cabin rather then build it themselves. At the outbreak of the First World War Grace watched Charles, who was a Colonel in the British Army, go off to war. Fortunately, Grace and her new born daughter Betty were allowed, under army regulations, to move to Britain to be closer to Charles. After Charles was wounded in action Grace and her family returned to Vancouver.

When they eventually returned to their cabin in Whistler they found the family of a Victoria Cabinet Minister living there. The minister's daughter was suffering from tuberculosis and under doctors orders had been moved to Whistler for the benefit of the clean mountain air. Not wanting to make a fuss, the Woollards graciously let the family keep the cabin and found a new place to live. They settled in an area that was then called Tea House Rock. Today the area is known as Blueberry Hill. Grace, being a trained nurse, was invaluable to the Whistler community. Because the only doctor was a day away she was called upon to deliver babies and help in emergency response situations. In 1941, Grace sold her cabin and bought a new cabin at the south end of Alta Lake to be closer to her daughter Betty, who had moved there due to financial trouble while her husband Doug Clarke was off at war.<sup>4</sup> Grace died in 1969, a pillar of the Whistler community.<sup>5</sup>

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Related entity

Woollard Clarke, Betty (b. June 14/1915)

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family

Dates of the relationship

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Grace was Betty's mother

Related entity

Woollard, Charles (b. Dec. 26/1871 d. [1924])

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Category of the relationship

family

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Grace was Charles' wife

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Sources

<sup>1</sup> Oral history interview with Margaret Bellamy.
<sup>2</sup> Florence Petersen, "First Tracks: Whistler's Early History".
<sup>3</sup> Florence Petersen, "First Tracks: Whistler's Early History".
<sup>4</sup> Oral history interview with Margaret Bellamy.
<sup>5</sup> Florence Petersen, "First Tracks: Whistler's Early History".

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