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The Pigeon brothers: Moïse Pigeon of the River Ranch and the Grandview Ranch

Settling at Dog Creek in the 1860s, the second Pigeon brother, Moïse  Pigeon – known as “Moses” in BC – married Teresa Philipini, daughter of Swiss immigrant Simone Philippi and Stupina, a woman from the Alkali Lake Band, today known as the Esk’etemc First Nation.

Studio photo of family of 6

Moïse Pigeon and his young family. From left: Percival, father Moïse, Peter, Claude, Louis (in front), mother Teresa, ca. 1892

Head and shoulders photo of man wearing hat

Moïse “Moses” Pigeon, ca. 1890







Near Lillooet, Moses established the River ranch (1860) and then, near Dog Creek, the Grandview ranch (1885), where he and Teresa raised eight children: Peter Moïse, Claude, Percival, Louis, John Edgar, Teresa, Agnes, and Raymond.

In an undated interview, Moïses’ grandson Sidney Pigeon (1917- ?), the son of Claude Pigeon and Rosalie Delima, stated that ”Women were the true pioneers of the Cariboo, given that beyond raising children, they ran the ranch after their husband’s death.” Moïse was 43 when he married 15-year-old Teresa: this common age difference sometimes led to the husband dying while his family was still young.

Sidney also confided that though no one really talked about it, “There was no way that you could operate a ranch without the assistance of Indians […] because the Indian has been here forever, and he knew what to do.”

Wooden house and buggies before forested hill

Ranch house built of milled lumber, Grandview ranch, circa late 1880s

Three women wearing coats and hats

Daughters of Moïse and Teresa: Teresa (l.) and Agnes (r.), and son Claude’s wife, Rosalie, circa 1915


When Moses died, Teresa passed the ranch to her son Peter and moved to Clinton with her other children, where she bought and ran the Clinton Hotel.

In Williams Lake, Pigeon Street recalls the family, as does Pigeon Creek on the Grandview ranch.