Note: The following was written by herself to her granddaughter Janet Hermon in 1969:
"My family came from Holland about 1703 and settled in Boston. Their name was Van Schram but they dropped the Van some time or other. During the American Revolution they fought on the British side and after the war was lost came up to Upper Canada and were granted land in or near Kingston. Two aunts of my grandmother's got good hard spankings in 1812 for sitting on a hill and watching a battle instead of bringing the cows home to be milked.
"My grandmother Schram married Captain Lewis Nunn Agassiz of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers of the British Army. He sold his commission and tried farming (in P.E.I.) but, knowing nothing about it, soon gave it up. They had four children then and they and my grandmother stayed in London Ont. with their mother while my grandfather came out to British Columbia to make his fortune, he hoped, in the newly discovered gold mines in the Cariboo. He came round the Horn, but his family came across the isthmus of Panama by railway and up the coast to Victoria by steamship. From there they crossed the Gulf of Georgia and went up to Yale, the head of navigation on the Fraser River. They started off for the Cariboo, but the road was so terrifying, and the children fell off over the horses' tails so often, that they decided to remain in Yale until they could find good land in the Fraser Valley.
"My grandfather was guided by Indians to a most beautiful spot lower down the river where they took up land just across the river from spectacular Mount Cheam. The land was easily cleared and finally they had about a thousand acres, though they didn't farm all of it. They built a large comfortable house, of logs, and called it Ferny Coombe. The farm was very successful. Everything they grew they could sell in the Cariboo for good prices. The Indians worked for them when they felt like it, and, as they were treated fairly, were always friendly. There were no other white people and they all spoke Chinook, which is not really an Indian language but a mixture of Indian, French and English, and was the language of barter.
Finally there were ten children. The excitement of the year was the arrival of THE BOX from my grandfather's relatives in England. It was enormous, made of oak. It contained enough clothes to last the family for a year, also quantities of books, complete sets of Dickens, Thackeray, Scott and many more. They led a busy life, but every day one of the daughters was dressed in her best, ready to answer the door just in case a visitor shoud appear.
Until the CPR came through (in 1887?) visitors were few and far between. There was much visiting friends in Victoria as all the educated people in British Columbia knew each other, and there was little cvilization except there where the Hudsons Bay Co and the government were, After the CPR came through a station was built close to them and the name Ferny Coombe was changed By Sir Joseph Trutch (one of the head construction engineers, I think) to Agassiz. After that the house was always full of visitors.
"Two of the boys had left the farm anf some of the girls had married, so there was plenty of room and much warmth and comfortand a good Chinese cook in the kitchen. At that time my mother Jane Agassiz married Ewen Cluny MacPherson, a godson of his chief. (His sterling silver christening mug, dated 1852, your uncle Hamish still has.) We lived at Harrison Hot Springs, a most beautiful spot near Agassiz where we led an ideal existence with mountains, lakes, rivers and waterfalls everywhere, but no children to play with but our three selves. In our teens we were sent to Vancouver to board at Crofton House School and found ourselves to be well ahead of most girls of our ages. We had been taught until then by our mother, who had never gone to school a day in her life but had, with her sisters, been taught by her mother.
"Later our parents bought a house in Vancouver, where I have lived ever since. We had a busy and happy and gay life and soon I met a very fascinating young man, Jim Hermon, whose sisters I had known at Crofton House. He also was of Loyalist stock. I licked my thumb and placed it firmly on him and he simply had no chance. He had lately come home from the University of Toronto and was studying for his BC Land Surveyor's commission. Just the the First World War began and he went overseas in the first contingent, in the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders, later the 16th. Batt. and he was away for four and a half years, during which time we wrote to each other twice a week. After his return in 1919 he studied again for his BCLS and in 1920 we were married and have lived happily ever after. As you perhaps know,we have a family of five, of which your father is the eldest and a noble example."
Marjory was a dedicated member of the Christian Science Church, was a First Reader in the Second and Fourth Churches, Vancouver, for many years. She had a memorable personality and was admired and loved by all who knew her. For the last ten or so years of her life she was increasingly afflicted by Alzheimers, lived her final eight years in Inglewood Lodge, West Vancouver.
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