Local cowboy honoured at Hall of Fame
By Craig Lindsay/Merritt Herald editor
Local cowboy Stephen “Hyde” Archachan has been selected for the 2013 B.C. Cowboy Hall of Fame in the Working Cowboy category. Although he's 77 and mostly retired, Archachan still gets the occasional call to help out.
Archachan, who was nominated by several ranchers he has worked for including John Lauder and Mike Rose, was honoured on March 8 at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival. Also honoured at the festival was local saddle maker Don Loewen (see story in Tuesday’s Herald).
Archachan was born in 1934 at Quilchena Creek in a willow bush and began his cowboyin’ career a short time later.
He started his first job at age 16 for the Guichon Ranch. He also broke horses for his family and for others for $10 a head. He has worked at Douglas Lake Ranch, Lauder’s Ranch, Blue Ridge Ranch in Lillooet, North Kamloops and at Lake Jamison.
“I started off with Guichon Ranch,” said Archachan. “We started in the spring. Then in the fall we’d go out again and bring cattle in. We did that every year. I rode for Guichon until around 1956 and then went to Douglas Lake and cowboyed there. I just wanted a change.”
Archachan took time off in the mid-60s to try his hand at logging, but eventually returned to what he loves the most, cowboyin’ in the Nicola Valley.
A true character, Archachan is known as ‘Hyde’ to pretty much everyone. His niece Phoebe Archachan relates the story of how he picked up the name.
“I guess they were at a rodeo dance a while back. I’m not sure how far back, but a while,” she said. “My uncle Hyde and his buddy were at the dance and he told his buddy, ‘Look at that gal over there. She has a pretty good looking hyde.’ And it just kind of stuck from there. So he’s been Hyde ever since.”
Phoebe says the honour is much appreciated and well-deserved for her uncle.
“He’s been working for pretty much all the ranches here in the Nicola Valley,” she said. “He’s still actively team roping. He’s been working for a long time. Like a true cowboy, he knows the cow inside and out, and has even been known to rope a bear from time to time.”
Archachan bounced back from serious injuries he sustained after being bucked off a horse in 2006.
“The doctors said he wouldn’t ride again,” she said. “But the stubborn cowboy he is, he wouldn’t take that for an answer. He’s still working for a couple of ranches whenever they need help which is usually a day here or a day there.”
Archachan even picked up two separate awards for team roping in his 70s including one with his nephew.
“Those are the only saddles he’s won, late in his 70s so he’s pretty proud of that,” said Phoebe.