The Espaniel design gets it’s name from our maternal grandmother’s maiden name. The Espaniel’s have a legacy of strong fierce leaders. This leadership has taken many forms and with this design we will share facets of that leadership and resiliency. This earring design is part of an evolving Espaniel Family Archive Project.
James Espaniel. Our great grandfather.
Between about 1925 - 1960, if there was a big forest fire in northern Ontario, the call would ask for axes, shovels, pumps, and Jim Espaniel. He was a legend, a fearless leader, and industrious beyond compare.
He fought countless fires over his 30 years on the ground, leading teams of men into dangerous situations to fight fires in the bush. When Jim began, they didn’t have planes or radars or any of this fancy stuff used today. They had canoes, and gut instinct. He once travelled 275 miles with a fully loaded canoe to fight a fire. I can’t even imagine the adrenaline levels it would take to make that trip - not to mention the trip home!
We found a newspaper clipping from about 1960 that talked about the legend that Jim Espaniel was. The reporter asked if he thought the kids coming up the ranks today would be able to tough it without the sleeping bags, planes, etc. that they have. He unwaveringly stated to never underestimate the youth; it might take them some time, but never say they couldn’t do what he did.