The Life and Times of Dahn Batchelor
My father returned to Canada in the early spring of 1944 and took a train across Canada, and when his train stopped at Quesnel, a mere twenty-six miles from Wells, he changed his mind and got on a train heading south toward Vancouver, with the intention of returning to Toronto, where he previously lived. By a strange coincidence, my aunt who was living in Wells and had been heading south on the same train saw my father get off the train in Squamish. She convinced him to go to Wells. She told him that his family was anxiously waiting for him. He took the next train heading north toward Wells, but my mother knew what he had done after my aunt phoned her and she wasn’t pleased at all at his attempt to abandon us again. I and my brother didn’t know what he had done. I only learned of it many years later from my aunt. He got a job in one of the town’s two gold mines, and this was the first time since my birth that he actually personally gave my mother money to pay for the rent and food.
In the spring of 1944, he bought a large two-story, three-bedroom log cabin in Wells for $500. In 2013, that amount of money would be equivalent to $6,215. The houses in that small town were sold for very little money then. That average house in a city in 1944 would cost $8,870, and in the 2015 market, the average house of that size would sell for at least four hundred thousand dollars.