Regie’s potatoes

Reginald Genn was born in 1873 in England. When he was 14 he ran away from home and went up the Niger River in Africa where he came down with “Black Fever”. Fortunately a passing ship took him back to England where he apprenticed to his uncle on a sailing ship at age 17. He went around Cape Horn twice, the second time he jumped ship in San Francisco and made his way to Victoria where he met up with his sister and brother.
He worked there as a clerk, then moved to Trail, British Columbia where he ran a bakery restaurant and laundry. He staked some gold claims in 1897 in B.C. and with a bit of money in his pocket headed to Seattle where he purchased a sail boat with two Norwegians and then bought 30 tons of Yakima potatoes to use as ballast for the boat. That cost him $90. When he arrived in Skagway he sold the boat and sold the potatoes for $100 a ton. “All that glitters is not gold,” he used to say.

By June 1, 1898 he was at Tagish where he got a Canada Free Miner’s Certificate. A month later he was staking gold claims in the Klondike.
By 1905 he had returned to Victoria where he married and then set out for New Zealand to start a chicken farm, but when they arrived he changed his mind and they returned to Victoria. By 1908 he and his wife and son returned to Glasgow Scotland where he tried to convince relatives to emigrate to Canada. By 1911 they had returned to Victoria. Reginald Genn died on May 7, 1953 in Victoria and is buried at the Royal Oak Burial Ground.
The photo above is of Regie with his 1929 Coupe in Victoria.

Pennington; rootsweb Genn family website.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *