Photograph consists of a group portrait of men, horses and steam powered threshing machine, standing in front of the Nowell barn. Man on left in group, standing in front of horses with hands in pockets, possibly Chinese.
"Kipp & Nowell first threshing machine / Nowell barn" is handwritten in pencil on back of copy photograph.
Reuben Nowell was born on November 20, 1829 at Bangor, Maine. He went west to California in the gold rush of 1849, and later came to this area in 1857 to work on the Boundary line at Blaine, Washington. Nowell wintered at Chilliwack at an Indian village in a split cedar house in 1858. In the spring of 1858, Reuben Nowell, together with Tom Hicks, built a log cabin to act as a simple stopping place and hotel for miners traveling through. Everybody packed their own blankets. You could always get a meal. They ran that for about four years. According to his obituary later he followed the Caribou excitement in 1858 up the Fraser River. After a short experience in placer mining, he settled in Chilliwack, being the second or third white man in the valley. Nowell pre-empted District Lot 331, Group 2, 162 acres, November 15, 1867 near Five Corners, adjoining the properties of Isaac Kipp and Jonathan Reece at the present site of Chilliwack.