Retired Mountie pleads for return of heirloom wagon wheel – British Columbia

A retired RCMP officer originally from Saskatchewan is appealing to whomever took a wooden wagon wheel from the deck of his B.C. home to please roll it back home. 

Bob Beitel retired to Surrey, B.C. some years ago. The wagon wheel is a family memento that reminds him of his childhood on the family farm back in Spring Valley, Saskatchewan.

He said while the metre-wide wheel is “nothing fancy” and isn’t even in particularly good condition after over 70 years of existence, it holds a special place in his heart.

“I was fortunate enough to grow up on a farm and be close to both of my grandparents,” he said. “The wagon wheel is part of my history.”

Beitel remembers helping his family as a young boy by hauling grain on wagons to the local grain elevator.

“That particular wagon wheel reminds me of hauling grain for my father — who is now passed on — and taking it to the country elevator in Spring Valley with his team of horses.”

The grain elevator in Spring Valley, Saskatchewan. The hamlet is approximately 62 kilometers south of Moose Jaw. (University of Saskatchewan Archives)

Beitel said his brother Lloyd convinced him to take the wagon wheel back to B.C. with him after a trip back to the family farm.

“I was just so touched by that,” he said.

Beitel installed the wheel in his yard, often moving it around according to the season. It even featured as a prop at Beitel’s daughter’s wedding in September, he said.

“It was just a personal thing to remind me of my childhood, but particularly of my father and the family and the work that we did to get to where we got to.”

On the evening of Feb. 8, he said someone stole the wheel from his deck. He followed the wheel tracks — made in the snow — until they disappeared. Surveillance footage from neighbours has been inconclusive, he added.

He reported the theft to police and is hoping a personal plea will convince whomever took the heirloom to return it.

“Someone was quite desperate to do…

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