Billy Goat Smith's Grinder
Object ID: 1965.98.1
This grinder is made of wood and has a wooden drum which is turned with a handle and has alternating screw. It was homemade by Billy Goat Smith (1882-1958) to be used at his cabin located at the head of Powell Lake near Jim Brown Creek.
Billy used this object for grinding turnips, and apples, possibly other vegetables as well such as sugar beets from his own garden. He ground vegetables to feed his goats, and the apples to make cider. Billy was attempting to be as self sufficient as possible.
Billy’s cabin was his main residence, where he lived as a recluse, often called a hermit, on Powell Lake. The only way to reach his cabin was by boat. He came to Powell Lake from the United States, from East Randolph New York, in 1910. His real name, Robert Bonner Smith, gave way to "Billy Goat" Smith, because he hunted goats on the mountainsides, as well as raised them. He was an excellent hunter, and use to be a hunting guide for guests staying at the Rainbow Lodge, which was owned by the Powell River Company.
Billy did not like strangers coming to his cabin; he would warn them by firing his rifle in the air! Although he was friendly to those delivering supplies to his cabin like Ed Quilin, who brought him books, newspapers, letters, and some groceries. A sign on his property read “ Powell River People and Dogs, Please KEEP OFF”
He sold his goat’s milk and fresh meat to logging camps in the region.
After his boat was wrecked in a storm in 1937, he rarely left his cabin
Mr. Smith is buried at Cranberry Cemetery where his gravestone is marked by a stone with both his real name and his chosen name, as well as an engraved goat.