Comaham – A Skeena River Hero

On our Skeena River Historical Journey by Jet Boat Tour Aug 5-10, 2016 we will travel by Jet boat from Hazelton to Port Edward covering around 50 km a day while we try and visit as many historical sites from the past.  The sites will include guest speakers and sites rarely visited or accessible.  One of those sites we are hoping to visit is the site of the Chief Comaham gravestone.  The site is on private property and access must be respected but we have contacted the owners and it looks like there is a good chance to visit the site.

The story behind Chief Comaham according to Ruth Hallock was that he was paddling up the Skeena River on  a hot August 15th day in 1873. He had left Port Simpson on his way to the mouth of the Lakelse River with his family.  His young 4 year old daughter was standing in the canoe when they encountered a swell in the river and over board she went.  Comaham did not hesitate and jumped in the murky waters of the Skeena River after his daughter.  The churning waters were too much for Comaham as he and his daughter were never seen again.  A lengthy search for his body was not successful.  A Stonecutter from Port Simpson named George Rudge was commissioned to to a headstone for Chief Comaham.  This headstone still stands today in memoriam. Here is a photo below.

Chief Comaham Headstone
Chief Comaham Headstone