Digging into the real Blaylock

I’m currently working on my dissertation in history at Simon Fraser University and my topic addresses various aspects of Trail’s social history from the 1930s through the mid-1950s.

One of those aspects is the role of S.G. Blaylock, the long-time Cominco president who died in November 1945.

Part of my research involves seeking local stories and anecdotes about Blaylock. My own family lived in Trail for many decades and shared such stories with me as I was growing up in the Kootenays.

Also, I worked at Cominco in the 1960s and early 1970s, so heard old-timers on the job recount their stories of a man who had a significant influence on their families.

When I began to research the community history of Trail, however, I found little information about who Blaylock really was. There is no autobiography and no book-length biography.

There are a few company-sponsored or endorsed manuscripts that laud Blaylock’s many accomplishments, and local author Elsie Turnbull’s books provide glowing tributes to the man. Yet there seems to be little of how the people of Trail felt about him.

I recently posted one of my father’s memoirs involving Blaylock and the Trail Smoke Eaters which the Trail Historical Society is circulating to its members. I’m hoping that others in Trail with similar family memories of Blaylock will share them with me.

If you are interested in helping me ferret out such stories, please contact me at ron@ronverzuh.ca. Anyone who might be reluctant to write out his  or her Blaylock story can feel free to contact me and I will phone them for a brief interview.

Ron Verzuh