Joseph Pitre

1867 Rustico, PEI after 1909 Canada



Continuation of tree (6th child of Andre Pitre/Philomene Pitre); all known surname descendants:

              8       Joseph Pitre  b: 9 April 1867  St. Augustine, Rustico, PEI; d: Aft. 1909

                                + Mary Gertrude Foote  b: 31 March 1881  Ponca, Dixon, Nebraska; m: 28 April 1901  Ymir, Kootenay, BC [William Henry/Mary Jane Clements]; d: 24 July 1940  Vancouver, BC

                           9           William J. Pitre  b: 30 August 1904  Spokane, Spokane, WA; d: 21 June 1993  Duncan, Cowichan Valley, BC

                                           +Beatrice Joan Foster  b: 1911; m: 1938 [William Rowell/May Hurle]; d: 2000  Colwood, Capital, BC

                           9           Raymond Arthur Pitre  b: Abt. 1906  Washington; d: 11 March 1981  Vancouver, BC

                                           +Colleen ---    d: Aft. March 1981

                           9           Eunice Pitre  b: 1 January 1910  Washington; d: 18 April 1911  Spokane, Spokane, WA



Notes for Joseph Pitre:


- 1901 Yale & Cariboo, Kootenay West, Nelson Riding, BC:  Joseph Petre (b. 8 Apr 1867 PEI)


- 1910 Spokane City, Spokane, Washington:  Wife of 9 years Mary Pitre 28 (Neb/IL/Iowa) (3 of 4 children still living), William 5, Raymond 4, Eunice 3 months; sister Eunice Mason 40 (Iowa/IL/Iowa) (mar. 24 yrs.; 4 of 6 children still living), Charlie 19, Ellen 13; boarder Ernest Kevis 25 (teamster).


- 1916 Assiniboia, Saskatchewan:  Earnest Kevis 31, wife Mary 35, Earnest 4, Herbert 2; stepsons Raymond Pitre 12 & William Pitre 10.



From 'A Brief History of Mining in Ymir', by George Murray:  'In the summer of 1895, Jerome Pitre, Joseph Pitre and Oliver Blair staked claims that were to become the famous Ymir Gold Mine.'

- The Vancouver Sun, Thursday, 22 July 1937:  ...prospectors and placers, moving up along the banks of the Columbia River from Colville, Washington, began turning their attention to the vast and encouraging pile of mountains that laid northward toward the new Kootenay Lake town of Nelson.  In a rush of staking, thousands of acres of ground were taken up along the Salmon River and on its main tributaries, Wild Horse, Bear and Porcupine creeks.  In 1895 the Pitre brothers staked the claims that were later grouped by the Ymir Gold Mines in their four-year operations, which was eventually equipped with an 80-stamp concentrating and cyanide plant.

- The Vancouver Sun (BC), Monday, 9 April 1934:  Miner seeks Father:  Raymond A. Pitre for several months in charge of operations at the Enid-Julie Mine, Phillips Arm, B.C., has asked the aid of The Vancouver Sun in tracing his father, Joseph Pitre.  The latter was the locator of the famous Ymir mine, Ymir, B.C., and crown-granted the property in 1897.  It later became, for several years, one of the largest gold mines on the continent.  He was a resident of that section of the province for many years in the 90's, and later spent some time in India and the Malay Peninsula.  Any information will be gratefully received by the writer, for relay to the son, who has conducted an unsuccessful search for many years.

- The Vancouver Sun (BC), Thursday, 14 October 1937:  Summary of a lengthy report of a rescue - Three youths, Edward Mason, Stanley Lothrop & George Wiltshire, set out on a prospecting trip late in September.  As the weather changed they lost their way, running out of food on the 6th day.  They were also cold and wet and out of matches.  On the 9th day, as Wiltshire could not go on, they pitched their tent and Mason volunteered to go for help.   After heading south for 1 1/2 days, he came to an abandoned Indian cabin where he slept until dawn.  He then headed eastward and finally spotted a settlement which was Zeballos.  He staggered into Zeballos and told of his starving pals.  On the morning of 3rd October, the famed BC mercy flier 'Ginger' Coote set out in his plane with Ray Pitre, Jimmy Lamb & Herb Kevis to locate the other two boys.   They circled the land between Zeballos and Espinosa Arm, finally locating the tent further north and someone waved.  They dropped food and matches.  At Espinosa Arm the 3 men disembarked and headed back to the tent with more food and medical supplies.  Credit to Pilot Coote who found the lost youths in an hour.  Ray Pitre, who headed the rescue party, returned at 6pm while the other 2 men stayed with the boys until they had sufficient strength to walk out the next day.  The boys had lost between 40-50 pounds in weight but were in good spirits upon their return.

- William 'Bill' Pitre, owner and skipper of the seine boat Pacific Breeze


Notes for Mary Gertrude Foote:

Obituary:  The Vancouver Sun (BC), Friday, 26 July 1940:  Kevis - On July 24, 1940, in St. Paul's Hospital, Mary Gertrude, wife of Ernest Edward Kevis of Alberni, B.C., aged 58 years.  Survived by five sons, Herbert, Ernest and Rupert Kevis, William and Ray Pitre, two daughters, Winifred and Margaret Kevis; one brother and two sisters.  Funeral service in Center & Hanna's chapel Saturday morning at 11:30 o'clock.  Rev. J.R. Wilson officiating.  Committal Forest Lawn Memorial Park.


Obituaries for the children:

Raymond Arthur Pitre:  The Vancouver Sun (BC), Friday, 13 March 1981:  Pitre - On March 11, 1981, Raymond A. Pitre, a west coast pioneer, passed away at Vancouver General Hospital, after a long illness.  After spending his early years, fishing, logging and prospecting on Vancouver Island, he was responsible for the development of Privateer Mine at Zeballos, B.C.  He later became one of B.C.'s industrial leaders, as president of Industrial Engineering Ltd. (Pioneer Chain Saws).  He is survived by his loving wife, Colleen, 1 son, James, stepdaughter, Mrs. E.T. (Evelyn) Hamlin, also his brother, William.  Funeral service Monday, March 16 at 12 noon at the Forest Lawn Memorial Funeral Centre, Royal Oak Ave. at Canada Way.  Interment Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

MISC:  The Ottawa Citizen (ONT), Saturday, 20 September 1958:  Vancouver - A letter to all members of the British Columbia legislature condemning the province's Labor Relations Act is the latest move in one man's battle against what he calls 'disgraceful' legislation.  It was only a mild follow-up, however, to Raymond Pitre's most spectacular action - closing up a $1,000,000 plant rather than accept a union which, he says, was thrust on him over the heads of most of his employees.  Mr. Pitre, whose self-made career covers forests, mines, fisheries and factories, shut down his Sierra Development Co. plant in suburban Burnaby last month when the United Steelworkers of America (CLC) were granted certification for the 25 employees.  He maintained that 19 employees signed affidavits saying they didn't belong to the union.  The labor relations board gave the union certification and Pitre shut down the plant when he found he couldn't appeal the board's decision to the courts.  The letter to the legislators said the Labor Relations Act 'is a disgrace to the government in power and the country as a whole.'  He protested the inability to appeal board decisions, and the presence of two labor representatives on the board 'to sit in judgment on their own requests for certification or other matters concerning their own unions.'  Raymond Pitre, a towering 53-year-old, has prospered in the past with the typr of firmness shown in his letter.  Born in Rossland, a mining town in the B.C. interior, he left school after the sixth grade and worked as a flunkey in a railway construction camp at the age of 13 on Vancouver Island.  He did a stint as a high rigger in the woods, then, at 19, became the youngest seine boat skipper on the Pacific coast.  He mucked for three months in the gold mines at Zeballos, B.C., in 1932 and became shift boss.  Later he went prospecting, opened the privateer gold mine and was its biggest shareholder.  The mine paid $1,750,000 in dividends in its lifetime.  Mr. Pitre's health broke in 1938 and he gave up management of the mine.  Late in the Second World War, he was told by a friend of a shop in Vancouver that was turning out about five or six chain saws a month.  They bought it for $50,000, changed the name to Industrial Engineering Ltd. and moved to new quarters.  In 1945 Mr. Pitre took over active management and made arrangements for a bank to finance employees in a stock-buying plan.  The business forged ahead until it was sold in 1956 to Outboard Marine Co. of Canada for $4,750,000.  Some of the 76 employees who owned stock made as much as $1000,000 on the deal.  When outboard decided to move the operation to Peterborough, Ont., this year, Mr. Pitre paid about $1,000,000 for the plant and began a new industry in insulating panels, camp ice-boxes, paddling boards and other products from plastic.  He had new ideas for employee profit sharing.  Out of net profit, 40 per cent would be set aside for annual bonuses and another 10 per cent for retirement fund.  But he balked at the international union....  




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Items in RED have been verified against parish register entries.


Last updated:  19 November 2022.