Rhodes Family and Minnehaha Ranch

Besides having an amazing family history, Dusty and Bumpy were active in the Cochrane Race Track.

– Mark Boothby

The three Rhodes brothers, Alan (Dobby), Bernard (Bumpy) and Gilbert (Dusty), were wealthy Englishmen, all of whom held commissions in the British Army in World War I. During the War, Dobby and Dusty bought a share in the Critchley Ranch in Grand Valley. Dusty was not too interested in the ranch and spent most of his time at Cowichan Bay, Vancouver Island, but retained his interest in the Cochrane race track. After the War, Bumpy came to Canada and bought out Oswald A. Critchley’s interest in the ranch. He added to his holdings by buying Andy Garson’s land. Andy also sold him a herd of horses. Bumpy was interested in playing polo and raised many good horses. Laurie Johnson was hired to school the ponies and play polo with them. 

In 1926 Bumpy married Cullette Gopel, an American divorcee who had land west of Midnapore. They had one adopted son, David. Around 1930 Bumpy and his wife and son moved to Victoria and bought a mansion. Bumpy died in Victoria, and following his death, Dusty and his family moved back to Scotland. 

Mrs. Rhodes and David returned to the ranch in Grand Valley. David attended Brentwood College on Vancouver Island but spent his vacations at the ranch. 

One summer Mrs. Rhodes went to Tahiti on vacation. While there she bought a coconut plantation at Papeete. Two of her friends, Eric Hanner and Count Von Luckner, were German citizens, so the French Government revoked Mrs. Rhodes’ visa and she had to leave Tahiti. She bought a fifty-foot two-masted schooner, the Valkyrie, and she and David, with Eric Hanner as captain and two Tahitian sailors as crew, sailed for Honolulu. Mrs. Rhodes and Eric Hanner were later married in Victoria, and David went to the United States. Mrs. Rhodes met Margo de Carrie, who had been Amelia Earhart’s secretary. Mrs. Rhodes, Eric and Margo cruised the Pacific, stopping at many small islands, hoping Amelia Earhart could be found. When they reached Honolulu Mrs. Rhodes had her marriage dissolved, and she and David returned to the ranch at Cochrane. David managed the ranch for a while then joined the Lord Strathcona Horse. When the United States sent recruiting teams into Canada he transferred to the United States Army. While in the Army he married, and they were sent to Vienna, Austria, for five years. Here they adopted a boy, Barry. 

After David went to war, Mrs. Rhodes assumed her old name and ran the ranch herself for a while, then rented it to Art Hall. Clarence Ginrich was the manager. The ranch was sold to Jack Bolton in 1947 and Mrs. Rhodes went to live in Santa Monica, California. 

During the Korean War, David was stationed at Breckinridge, Kentucky. He and his first wife divorced, and David married a girl who was in the Diplomatic Foreign Service. He and his wife Helen had two sons, David and Brooke Anthony. Cullette spent her first years with David and Helen when they lived in Evansville, Indiana. She passed away in 1951 and is buried in Evansville. David left the Army in 1953 and has worked for the Western Electric Company for 21 years and now lives in Columbus, Ohio. 

The Minnehaha Ranch has changed hands several times during recent years. Jack Bolton sold to the Marston Ranching Company, who named it the Grand Valley Ranch, and Art Galarneau was the foreman. It was then sold to Peter Bawden, who hired Dale Flett as foreman. The ranch was sold back to Jack Simpson, who sold it to Bob Burns. The ranch is now called the Anchor X.

– Big Hill Country Pg 407

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