The Morens’ Farm & Family Gravesite - 090101
The Morens’ house, built in the 1880s was the homestead of Pierre and Franchette Morens of the Savoie District in France. They were cattle ranchers and orchardists on the new colony.
James Teit arrived in Spence’s Bridge in 1884 to work on his uncle John Murray’s orchard, though his interests soon turned to researching the culture of the Interior Salish people. On September 12, 1892, he married his good friend Susanna Lucy Artko, a native from the nearby Twell Valley. At 33 years of age, she died of tuberculosis, only six and a half years into their marriage.
James Teit remarried in 1904 to Leonie Josephine Morens, Pierre and Franchette’s daughter. After their honeymoon, they moved into the Morens’ family home until they relocated to a new house in Spence’s Bridge some years later. James wrote many of his anthropological manuscripts while living at the Morens’ house.
James Teit soon learned the languages of the Shuswap and the Lillooet people and to them became a great and trusted friend. He participated in their hunting and fishing expeditions. James recorded hundreds of songs, collected hundreds of artifacts and costumes for anthropological photographs. He recorded a great deal of information on their social customs and mythology. World renowned as the “anthropologist of the people,” he helped them in many ways, acting as an interpreter on their behalf, assisting them in legal matters and relating their many grievances to the government.
James Teit’s research contributions are recognized to be the most complete and accurate description of the culture of the Interior Salish tribes of British Columbia. He passed away on October 30, 1922.
For a time, the Morens’ house was a road house on the Cariboo Road and the white and red building next to the fruit stand accommodated the blacksmith and his shop. When the Canadian Pacific Railway pushed through, Morens’ house was home to the station master and it later served as a bunkhouse for laborers.
All that remains of the Morens’ original orchards are one apricot tree and one grapevine. A couple of other trees growing at the property are from seedlings of the original trees.
In the graveyard are buried Pierre and Franchette Morens, their son Leon, Franchette’s sister Josephine and two of Leonie and James Teit’s children; Inga, their only daughter and baby Rolf who died at birth in 1912.