In Memoriam: Fred Braches (1930–2024)

Heritage House was sad to hear about Fred Braches’ passing, on February 1, at the age of 93.

Fred was an avid historian and researcher, and we were proud to work with him on Searching for Pitt Lake Gold: Facts and Fantasy in the Legend of Slumach, published in 2019.

Fred was dedicated to sharing local history, particularly of the Whonnock and Ruskin communities in Maple Ridge, BC, where he lived since 1985. He was well-known in the Slumach sleuthing community and appeared on the History TV series Curse of the Frozen Gold (2015). He had previously been a historical columnist for the Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows News and also served as the editor of the B.C. Historical News (now British Columbia History magazine).

Among his many accomplishments, Fred published research and archival images on his website (Whonnock History Notes) and as the producer of  Whonnock Notes (Whonnock Community Association). Over the years, he wrote and released several local history books, two photo books (Whonnock: Pictures from the Past and Ruskin: Pictures from the Past), and an annual Whonnock History calendar.

We are fortunate that his contributions to local history will live on through his writing. He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his friends and family.

Photo credit: Guillermo Garcia