Historical

History, archaeology and paleontology of northern BC.

🔍Read Full ArticleHazelton’s Unsung Navigator

Hazelton’s Unsung Navigator

🕔Oct 03, 2016

I don’t believe in being a “war buff.” The term buff trivializes this particular subject, as if one can have an exuberant interest in combat’s destruction and despair like a bird watcher or a train spotter. It’s too close to being a fan.

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🔍Read Full ArticleA Mammoth Discovery: Decades later, fossils still shrouded in mystery

A Mammoth Discovery: Decades later, fossils still shrouded in mystery

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Aug 01, 2016

In the summer of 1971, men and machines were working on removing the overburden (mining lingo for “dirt”) on Noranda’s Bell Mine on the Newman Peninsula of Babine Lake when their work revealed a jumble of ancient, oversized bones.

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🔍Read Full ArticleGreat Glaciers:  Experience these prehistoric beauties before they’re gone

Great Glaciers:  Experience these prehistoric beauties before they’re gone

👤Matt J. Simmons 🕔Aug 01, 2016

The glaciers are melting.

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🔍Read Full ArticleGone but not forgotten:Port Edward’s defunct canneries offer everything from history to beachcombing

Gone but not forgotten:Port Edward’s defunct canneries offer everything from history to beachcombing

👤Amanda Follett Hosgood 🕔Aug 01, 2016

A freight train rumbles past not 50 feet from our red-hued cottage, a throwback to an age when rail was the only way into this once-remote outpost on the northwest coast.

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🔍Read Full ArticleCultural Conservation:  A Tahltan fights to preserve his first nation’s language

Cultural Conservation:  A Tahltan fights to preserve his first nation’s language

👤Amanda Follett Hosgood 🕔May 31, 2016

It’s a well-worn cliché that the Inuit have dozens of words for snow.

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🔍Read Full ArticlePeaveys, Pickaxes & other Perfect-for-the-Job Implements: Nostalgia for heritage gardening equipment

Peaveys, Pickaxes & other Perfect-for-the-Job Implements: Nostalgia for heritage gardening equipment

👤Norma Kerby 🕔May 31, 2016

With amazing vigour, the rootstock for my Montmorency pie cherry sent suckers across the yard into the garden.

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Monster Snowfalls

👤Norma Kerby 🕔Nov 24, 2015

You can tell when the big snowfalls are coming.

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🔍Read Full ArticleGlass Fishing Floats:  Vintage treasures from the Westerlies

Glass Fishing Floats:  Vintage treasures from the Westerlies

👤Norma Kerby 🕔Oct 09, 2015

My aunt almost married a North Coast fisherman. The romance between the pretty young teacher and the tall Norwegian fell casualty to family objections and World War II, but the story, like the jade-coloured glass fishing floats which sat in my grandmother’s kitchen window, did not fade away.

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🔍Read Full ArticleThe Collections Renewal Project:  Bringing the past to light

The Collections Renewal Project:  Bringing the past to light

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Oct 09, 2015

I’ve poked around in museum backrooms throughout BC’s Northwest; wearing those white gloves while sifting through old papers in archives and artifact storage rooms.

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🔍Read Full ArticleRelax by Rail  Travels through the North by train and ferry

Relax by Rail Travels through the North by train and ferry

👤Hilary Crowley 🕔Jul 31, 2015

I recently travelled by rail from Prince George to Prince Rupert, a journey that should have taken 12 hours.

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🔍Read Full ArticleLeadership Development on the Land

Leadership Development on the Land

👤Curtis Rattray 🕔Mar 27, 2015

It was more than a decade ago that I was backpacking in the remote and isolated Spatsizi in the heat of the day and the weight of the pack was taking its toll.

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🔍Read Full ArticleThe Paradox of Anyox—New hope springs from old mine site

The Paradox of Anyox—New hope springs from old mine site

👤Joanne Campbell 🕔Mar 27, 2015

What does it feel like to stand in the middle of a slagheap? To climb around the innards of an old-but-not-forsaken dam? Or to pick your way across a falling-down power plant whose crumbling floors could swallow you with nary a burp?

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🔍Read Full ArticleNass  Valley volcano: Tseax crater and Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park

Nass Valley volcano: Tseax crater and Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park

👤Joanne Campbell 🕔Aug 04, 2014

As a child, I was terrified of volcanoes.

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🔍Read Full ArticleDiversity, adversity and prosperity:  A colourful history meant ups and downs for BC immigrants

Diversity, adversity and prosperity:  A colourful history meant ups and downs for BC immigrants

👤Jo Boxwell 🕔Aug 04, 2014

In the mid- to late-1800s, northern BC’s non-aboriginal population exploded.

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🔍Read Full ArticleSuper Spuds:  Heritage potatoes return to the North

Super Spuds:  Heritage potatoes return to the North

👤Norma Kerby 🕔May 30, 2014

No one was eating the mashed potatoes.

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🔍Read Full ArticleSummit Lake sojourners: Stories of early settlement

Summit Lake sojourners: Stories of early settlement

👤Hilary Crowley 🕔Apr 04, 2014

The community of Summit Lake has a long and chequered history.

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🔍Read Full ArticleSpectacular Spatsizi—Vast wilderness with a rich history and uncertain future

Spectacular Spatsizi—Vast wilderness with a rich history and uncertain future

👤Tania Millen 🕔Oct 02, 2013

Our horses walked slowly into a biting winter wind, making fresh tracks across the sparkling snow.

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🔍Read Full ArticleGwaii Haanas Legacy Pole—First monumental pole in 130 years celebrates Haida past and future

Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole—First monumental pole in 130 years celebrates Haida past and future

👤Dave Quinn 🕔Oct 02, 2013

I first visited Haida Gwaii nearly 20 years ago with three friends, before the temporary moniker Queen Charlotte Islands was returned to BC

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🔍Read Full ArticleExcavating Wu’dat

Excavating Wu’dat

👤Matt J. Simmons 🕔Oct 02, 2013

In 2010, the Lake Babine Nation and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) joined forces to excavate an archaeological site at the north end of Babine Lake.

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🔍Read Full ArticleOne hundred years wiser  Reflecting on our joint kungax during Smithers’ centennial

One hundred years wiser Reflecting on our joint kungax during Smithers’ centennial

👤Matt J. Simmons 🕔Aug 01, 2013

In the Witsuwit’en language, “yin tah” is the word for “land,” but it carries more weight and more context than its English equivalent.

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🔍Read Full ArticleThe World’s Largest Fly Rod:  A true community art project

The World’s Largest Fly Rod:  A true community art project

👤Melissa Sawatsky 🕔Aug 01, 2013

In the 1980s, tourism promoters in British Columbia encouraged cities and towns to develop a roadside attraction or landmark that would draw visitors.

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🔍Read Full ArticleMidsummer Festival, 30 years on: the stuff of legends

Midsummer Festival, 30 years on: the stuff of legends

👤Amanda Follett Hosgood 🕔May 31, 2013

It’s 8 p.m. on a Monday evening, and in the Stokes’ kitchen a Midsummer Music Festival meeting has just wrapped up. A teapot and half-empty wine bottle sit on the table. But what flows most generously are the stories.

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🔍Read Full Articleest. 1952: Kitimat’s smelter-site school

est. 1952: Kitimat’s smelter-site school

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔May 31, 2013

On July 20th, 1952, Alcan posted ads in Vancouver papers seeking applications for elementary and high school teachers and one principal for their Smelter-site School in Kitimat.

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🔍Read Full ArticleReinventing the Central Park Building

Reinventing the Central Park Building

👤Melissa Sawatsky 🕔Apr 01, 2013

I sit in the office of the Bulkley Valley Museum on the main floor of the Central Park Building and gaze down Smithers’ Main Street. Alpine Al continuously blows his alpenhorn as Hudson Bay Mountain rises behind him to meet the clear sky.

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🔍Read Full ArticleSkeena Forks—The history of Hazelton

Skeena Forks—The history of Hazelton

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Mar 29, 2013

In the early 1800s, the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was having difficulty breaking into the long-existing First Nations trade routes through northern BC, especially the trails and seasonal trade patterns between the Nass River and Babine Lake.

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🔍Read Full ArticleMcGillivray’s Map

McGillivray’s Map

👤Morgan Hite 🕔Mar 29, 2013

Simon McGillivray, a trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company, was the first outsider ever to visit “the Forks,” the place where the Skeena and Bulkley rivers join, and later the site of the town of Hazelton

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🔍Read Full ArticleFifty-Four Forty or Fight: How a U.S. border crossing almost wound up in the Bulkley Valley

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight: How a U.S. border crossing almost wound up in the Bulkley Valley

👤Morgan Hite 🕔Dec 01, 2012

I’m sitting on Hubert Hill, a small forested prominence by Highway 16, about 15 minutes south of Smithers, between Round Lake and Woodmere Roads. Here in the soft light of early summer, I can look across the highway and the Bulkley River to the Telkwa Mountains. Below me, the busy US border crossing has cars backed up

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🔍Read Full Article100 Years of Smithers’ Main Street

100 Years of Smithers’ Main Street

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Dec 01, 2012

On March 28, 1913 the Smithers Interior News announced, “The board of Railway Commissioners at Ottawa has approved of the station site at ‘Smithers,’ the second divisional point East of Prince Rupert, Mile 226.5…

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🔍Read Full ArticleDigging up the past: Archaeology in a cultural context

Digging up the past: Archaeology in a cultural context

👤Matt J. Simmons 🕔Oct 01, 2012

Issues around the dead—whether recently deceased or ancient ancestors—are seldom simple.

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🔍Read Full ArticleFrom the Depths: Who threw this olive jar overboard?

From the Depths: Who threw this olive jar overboard?

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Oct 01, 2012

When you step into the Masset Maritime Museum in Haida Gwaii, you see large-scale models of sailing ships, walls covered in nets, and exhibits of Pacific Ocean fishing and sea-faring life.

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🔍Read Full ArticleWildcat Strike in Kitimat

Wildcat Strike in Kitimat

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Aug 01, 2012

When a union goes on strike, things get tense. In Kitimat, at 6am on June 23, 1976, the situation was ominous when riot squads unloaded from school buses and faced a picket line of union members from the Canadian Association of Smelter and Allied Workers.

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🔍Read Full ArticleStep Into the Past: Exploring the historic sites of northern BC

Step Into the Past: Exploring the historic sites of northern BC

👤Matt J. Simmons 🕔Jun 01, 2012

Northern BC has a few distinctive characteristics that stand out to visitors when they come to the region.

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🔍Read Full ArticleThe colossal fossil conundrum: Modern-day management at prehistoric site

The colossal fossil conundrum: Modern-day management at prehistoric site

👤Amanda Follett Hosgood 🕔Jun 01, 2012

Gordon Harvey is long gone, but his old homestead dwindles on, slowly returning to the earth near Driftwood Creek.

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🔍Read Full ArticleNorthern “memory places”: Unmarked sites of historical significance

Northern “memory places”: Unmarked sites of historical significance

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Jun 01, 2012

Historians tend to view their surroundings from the perspective of not just what is here now and what might be there in the future, but also what was once there: an abandoned village site, a forgotten town, a manned lighthouse.

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🔍Read Full ArticleSlim Williams: Alaska to Chicago by Dogsled

Slim Williams: Alaska to Chicago by Dogsled

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Apr 01, 2012

Clyde “Slim” Williams travelled to Alaska in 1900 at the age of 18 to prospect, and survived there by mining, trapping, delivering mail and raising sled dogs.

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🔍Read Full ArticleGhost town on the Skeena: Days of Dorreen

Ghost town on the Skeena: Days of Dorreen

👤Jane Stevenson 🕔Feb 01, 2012

Approximately 30 miles northeast of Terrace, across the Skeena River from Highway 16, is the historic community of Dorreen. There, running along the railway track from the old station to the railway bridge over Fiddler Creek, are the remains of a community that at first glance seems to have been simply left behind. Alders grow on the flat deck of an old round-fendered truck, horse-drawn farm implements peek out from the bracken ferns, a one-room schoolhouse sits vacant. But it wasn’t always like this.

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