Sunday, October 2, 2016

BC Hydro stopped the Steamboat races on the Peace River by building the W.A.C. Bennett Dam. Damn

Why drive the car, why ride the bus, why fly to our destinations?

Why not ride the horse or the stage coach;  canoe or  steamboat,   ... walk?

Steamboating on the Fraser River in the sixties     1860's

Search PDF for 'Steamboat'

Page 5 of 94

..... The prosperity of the colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia in the 'sixties' depended largely upon the streams of gold bullion and supplies that flowed to and from the placer mines in the Cariboo.  Fraser River steamboats and connecting express lines provided the vital links between the Interior and the trading centres of the Coast.

When freight and passenger rates were high the miners and traders suffered, while the owners of the sternwheelers garnered big profits.  Prosperity attracted competition, and inevitably rate-cutting would begin, until sometimes the delighted travelers found themselves carried free, with meals included.  The weakest competitors would be forced into bankruptcy, or a "combination" formed, and rates would soar again.

It was an era of "combination, defamation and ruination," and the many steamboat wars of the period present, a tangled skein of unbridled competition.

ONe of the accepted perils of travel was the steamboat explosion.  Boilers wre often of flimsy construction, inspections were inadequate, and ambitious captains had a lamentable habit of holding down the safety-valve when tempted to race speedier rivals.  As a consequence the western rivers of North America hand an appalling record of bloody disaster.

British Columbia captains were rugged types, and they maintained a good batting average of explosions.  The Caledonia was the first to go, in 1859, followed spectacularly by the Fort Yale and Cariboo in 1861.  Then there was lull for ten years until the Emily Harris carried three members of her crew to a sudden demise in 1871.

The disaster were met with philosophy.  The casualties were counted  -- Indians and Chinese not included -- the dead were buried (if enough remains could be found), and the incident was written off as an "act of God."  Explosions were considered one of the natural perils of navigation.  If the timid wayfarer did not like them, he could stay at home.
 --  British Columbia Historical Quarterly.  Vol. X. No. 1

Another source

1912  Page 2 of 142
Page 100 of 142

1910  New British Columbia  -   the Undeveloped Areas of the Great Central and Northern Interior
..... There is also a steamboat running on the Thompson River from Kamloops to Little Fork, sixty miles, and one on the Columbia River from Revelstoke to La Porte, forty-five miles.

Page 15 of 96

Peace River Routes.

There are several routes by which the Peace River country may be reached, of which the following are the most feasible:

Route No. 1

Ashcroft to Soda Creek (stage)  163 Miles
Soda Creek to Fort George (steamboat)   155 Miles
Fort George to Giscome Portage (steamboat)  41 Miles
Giscome Portage to Summit Lake (waggon-road)  8 Miles
Summit Lake (via Crooked River) to McLeod  (canoe)  70 Miles
McLeod to mouth of Parsnip River (canoe)  89 Miles
Mouth of Parsnip to Canyon (canoe)  75 Miles
Canyon Portage (trail)   11 Miles
Canyon to Fort St. John (canoe)  38 Miles

                                                               650 Miles

Route No. 2 

Ashcroft to Soda Creek (stage)   163 Miles
Soda Creek to Fort George (steamboat)  155 Miles
Fort George to Fort St. James (steamboat)  139 Miles
Fort St. James to Fort McCleod  (waggon-road)  90 Miles
McCleod to mouth of Parsnip River Canyon (canoe)  75 Miles
Mouth of Parsnip to Peace River Canyon (canoe)   75 Miles
Portage (trail)    11 Miles
Canyon to Fort St. John (canoe)   38 Miles

                                   760 Miles

Route No. 3

The Hudson's Bay Company have taken full advantage of water carriage, and their present route is probably the best those entering the country from the coast.  From Hazelton (the head of steamboat navigation) that route is as follows:

Hazelton to Babine Lake  (trail)    65 Miles
Down Babine and Stuart Lakes to Fort St. James  (canoe)    150 Miles
St. James to McLeod  (waggon-road)    90 Miles
McLeod to mouth of Parsnip (canoe)   120 Miles
Mouth of Parsnip to Canyon (canoe)    70 Miles
Over Canyon Portage  (trail)   15 Miles
Canyon to St. John  (canoe)     70 Miles

      580 Miles

This totals 170 miles of trail and waggon-road and 410 miles by water.  A variation of the route can be made by following the Telegraph Trail from Hazelton to Fort Fraser and thence via Fort St. James as above.  This passes through the Bulkley country and affords an opportunity for observing that and other agricultural areas found en route.

Still another route to St. John is found by following the last-mentioned route to McLeod, and then taking a trail along the Misinchinca River over the Pine River Pass, and then along South Pine River to the headwaters of Moberly River, following that river to the lake of the same name, and thence to Old Hudson's Hope, on the south bank of the Peace.  Very little, however, is known of this trail, and outside prospecting for minerals, it is probably of very little use.  (Misinchinca River)(Southern end of Williston Lake Reservoir formed by the W.A.C. Bennett Dam)

Edmonton Route

Mr. F. C. Campbell, Provincial Government Agent at Fort St. John, favours the route by way of Edmonton, Alberta, as being the best under existing conditions.  The distance and mean of travel are:
Edmonton to Athabasca Landing (waggon-road)
        100 Miles
Athabasca Landing to Mirror Landing, confluence of Lesser Slave River (waggon-road)    74 Miles
Mirror Landing to Salteaux Landing, twenty miles up Lesser Slave River (waggon-road)  20 Miles
Salteaux Landing to Peace River Crossing  (waggon-road)    100 Miles
Peace River Crossing to Fort St. John (steamer)   185 Miles

     590 Miles

Passenger and Freight Rates

Edmonton to Athabasca Landing.

Stage leaves Edmonton every Tuesday and Friday morning at eight o'clock, winter and summer.  Fare $8.00.   Freight rate $1.00 per cwt.

Athabasca Landing to Lesser Slave Lake.

  Steamer leaves the landing every Tuesday.  Fare   $16.00.  Freight rate $2.00  per cwt.

Winter    Commencing in December freighters' teams leave the H. B. Co's stores at Athabasca Landing every few days.  Passenger transportation can be arranged with freighters at from $10.00 to $20.00.   Freights rate $2.50 per cwt.

Lesser Slave Lake to Peace River Landing

(About 80 miles)

Freighter's teams leave early nearly every day.   Passenger transportation over this stretch can be arranged for with the freighters at from $8.00 to $20.00 according to the mode of travel.   Freight rate $2.00 per cwt.

Peace River Landing to Dunvegan

(About 75 miles)

Summer  H. B. Co.'s steamer leaves landing about 8th of June, 12 July, and 16th August.  Passenger fare $10.00   Freight rate $1.00 per cwt.  Here there is no regular means of transport other than the above, but teams can be procured at the landing at all times and travel over a fairly good road.  The Spirit River and Grand Prairie Settlement south from Dunvegan can be reached winter and summer by means of transport teams, over a fairly satisfactory trail.

The Peace River country has been reached at different tims by other routes during the summer as well as the winter season, but at the present time the route outlined above is the only reasonbly satisfactory one, from one point or another of which all points of settlement in the Peace River District may be reached.

Page 17 of 96

Tete Jaune Cache Route:
Tete Jaune Cache may be reached from Kamloops by the following route:

Kamloops to Little Fort (waggon-road or steamboat)    60 Miles
Little Fort to Clearwater (waggon-road)      20 Miles

After leaving Clearwater the journey is made by trail, the distances from Kamloops being:

*Raft River     80 miles, good trail, usually forded
*Peavine        87 miles, good trail, grassy country
*Allingham's Ranch 95 Miles  high bench, open country
Mad River   103 Miles good trail, bridge
*Round Prairie  109 Miles  good trail, small meadow
Wire Cache   115 Miles   good trail, thick timber
*Stillwater Flats   116 Miles, trail brushy, some sloughs
*Cottonwood Camp  126 Miles, brushy, with meadows
Little Salmon River  129 Miles, brushy, easy ford
Lone Grave  131 Miles, trail leaves the flats
*Dorr's Meadow  133 Miles, trail hilly
Hell Gate  135 1/2 Mile,  trail hilly and burnt
*Sunday Camp  142 1/2 Miles, some rocky slides
*Goose Camp 150 Miles, some slough and soft spots
Blue River   152 1/2 Miles  descent steep hill, ford
*Blue River and Meadows  154 1/2 Miles,  soft, large meadows
*Beaver Camp  155 1/2 Miles,  trail good, meadows
Thunder River   162 1/2 Miles, heavily wooded, ford
*High Bank  166 1/2 Miles, trail bushy, fairly good
*Apparrjo Camp  183 1/2 Miles, rough, boggy and woods
Cut Bank  186 Miles, trail damaged
Second Crossing, N. Thompson River 188 Miles, forded at low water only; feed one mile further on
              Crossing of Albreda  195 Miles, trail boggy, ford river
*Summit Camp  204 Miles, trail good, low pass
*Beaver Camp  207 Miles, trail good, low pass
*Canoe River Crossing,  220 Miles, fordable at certain times
*Starvation Camp,  228 Miles, good trail, open valley
*Tete Jaune Cache, 236 Miles, good trail, banks of Fraser River

     * At these points feed may be had for a small bank of horses

Donald Route

The following memorandum relative to the trail from Donald to Tete Jaune Cache is the "log" of a pack-train of about ten horses, the heaviest load of any one animal being 180 lbs.  The packer who supplied this information considered this the most feasible and the best route into the district referred to:

Donald to Summit Lake, 18 Miles, 7 1/2 Hours
Summit Lake to Bush River, 12 Miles, 5 Hours
Bush River to Cedar River, 14 Miles, 5 Hours
Cedar River to Middle River, 16 Miles, 8 Hours
Middle River to Wood River, 28 Miles, 12 Hours
Wood River to Cripple Horse Meadows, 22 Miles, 11 Hours
Cripple Horse Meadows to Goat River, 14 Miles, 7 Hours
Goat River to Tompkin Creek, 16 Miles, 7 1/2 Hours
Tompkins Creek to the Jam, 12 Miles, 5 Hours
The Jam to Cache Creek, 14 Miles, 7 1/2 Hours
Cache Creek to Pack Saddle Meadows, 12 Miles, 6 Hours,
Pack Saddle Meadows to Tete Jaune Cache, 20 Miles, 10 Hours

                                                             198 Miles    91 1/2 Hours


Alexander Mackenzie Voyageur Route
- Bella Coola River - Fiord Canoe Route    100km
- Nuxalk - Carrier Trail                                    350km

Hudson's Bay Company Trails
- Anderson's Brigade - Yale to Kamloops (1848 - 1849)    
- Hope to Kamloops via Tulameen (1849 - 1865) (includes Blackye's Trail)   38km

Cariboo Wagon Road
- Harrison - Lillooet Trail (1858 - 1863)     160km
- Yale to Barkerville (1863 - ?)

Yukon Telegraph Trail
- Collins Overland Telegraph - New Westminister - Kispiox (1865 - 66)
- Yukon Telegraph - New Westminister to Yukon Border  (1898 - 1930s)

Governor's Trail
- Tulameen River to Whipsaw Creek and Corral Creek via Hope Pass (1862 - 1920s)   25km

Pemberton Cattle Trail
- Burrard Inlet to Pemberton via Lynn Creek    130km

Summit City Tail
- Coquihalla River to the head of waters of Dewdney Creek

Palmer's Trail
- Fort Alexandria to Bella Coola (1862)

Cape Scott Trail
- Holberg to Cape Scott

Horne Lake Trail
- Qualicum Bay to Port Alberni  25km

Semihmoo Trail
- White Rock to New Westminister   32km

West Coast Trail
- Jordon River to Bamfield

Waddington's Bute Inlet Route
- Bute Inlet to Palmer's Trail (near Puntzi Lake)

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