One the many Canneries on the North Coast we will visit is the old Carlisle Cannery at the mouth of the Skeena River. It was one of the first Canneries to be built outside of the protected waters of the Skeena River. This Cannery was built in 1895 and ceased operations in 1950. The cannery produced a high of 72 000 cases in 1941. When seeing photos from the past of Carlisle Cannery was a bustling place that sprawled across the shore and out onto the ocean with hundreds of pilings. When heading back now to look at a 120 year old cannery there does not seem to be much left but when you start to explore on shore it is amazing what remains in the mud amongst the pilings and in the forest where rows of houses once stood. Here are a few then and now photos.
The small and remote community of Dorreen lies about 50 km east of Terrace on the north side of the Skeena River (opposite of the hwy). The town survived on mining and farming and some railway business. The first school was attached to the iconic General store that still stands today. A second school was built for the 1932 school year. The teacher that year was Miss Mina Dean. With the ups and downs of the resource sector it was always a challenge to keep the minimum number of students in the school. The school did close down in 1937 for a year. The mine closed in 1953 and with that came an exodus of mine workers and their families. Elaine Gregg was the teacher at that time and she came up with some creative enrollment numbers with underage students as young as 3 and overage students as well making up the minimum of 13 students. There were even rumors of a few pets being enrolled. Here is a photo of the one room school. During our Ghost Towns of Northwest BC tour we are fortunate enough to have a guided tour of the town by one of the part time residents
While on a reconnaissance trip out to Oona River for our Canneries of the Northcoast tour we were very fortunate to have local Jan Lemon show us around the community. She invited us to her house for lunch and we talked about other communities on the north coast when the town of Anyox came up. Jan’s husband then mentioned that they had traveled to Anyox (I think in the 80’s) and had acquired a piece of their house from the town. He then showed me the large black slab mantle on their fireplace and said it was once one of the waste flume sides that directed the smelting slag out from the smelter to the slag pile on the ocean. Amazing what you see on the Northcoast and how inter related things are.
Here is a photo of the mantle and a couple photos of the slag trough slabs.
Join us on our Ghost Towns of Northwest BC tour to see these slag troughs.
One of the highlights on our Jet Boat Photography Tour and Ghost Towns of Northwest BC is the Kitselas Canyon visit. The Kitselas Canyon National Historic Site has some amazing cultural features such as petroglyphs, totem poles, culturally modified trees, long houses, canyon viewing platform and archaeological remains. The Kitselas or “People of the Canyon” have resided in the canyon for thousands of years and there is no better person than Cultural Resource person and Kitselas member Web Bennett to provide a tour of the site and answer any questions about the history. Web is an expert in the local Kitselas history and has many stories about the past.
We provide a unique perspective when arriving for our visit to the Canyon as we arrive via Jet Boat after running the guest through the historic canyon. After doing this you get a real appreciation for how the first nations navigated the canyon by canoe and then later on how the Stern wheelers made their way through.
Here are a few photos of the Kitselas Historic site.
I have driven by these paintings many times during our UNBC Educational Tours but never knew exactly where they were. On this past trip with the foliage gone the paintings stuck out I decided to take a closer look. The portrait is believed to be that of the Tsimshian Chief, Legaik. The left side of the painting records a feast given by the chief in which 9 containers were given away.
The painting was done by an artist named Lequate in the 1830’s.
How did he manage to paint this on this massive rock face?
It is believed he was suspended in a cedar basket from a rope from above the rock face while he painted the rock.
Located at the mouth of the Khyex River was a small community known as “Skeena City” . This 1910 community was short lived but it did have a cannery, sawmill and a brick factory. The island of trees on the shores of the river include many remnants of these past activities. Old pilings, tunnels, bricks and metal piping still scatter the area. We will make a stop here on a couple of our educational tours.
In looking back and reflecting at some past photos from our Jet Boat Photography Tour I noticed that we had some beautiful days and some amazing reflections of the local mountains and scenery. Here are a few of my favorites.
On our Ghost Towns of Northwest BC we are fortunate to be able to tour the modern day ghost town of Kitsault. The town has two sets of aprtments. The multi room family apartments are on a knoll overlooking the ocean while the single room apartments which primarily catered to the single men mine workers is the first building you see upon entering the town. And by chance it is directly across the street from the Maple Leaf Pub. I can only imagine the men waling across the street after work and going for a beer in the pub. Here are a few photos of the single men apartments.