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Page last updated May 11, 2016
Written/sketched in 2003: I don't know much at all about Quick, but Vancouver artist Rob Chaplin, who grew up nearby in Telkwa, suggested I go looking to see if the old store at Quick still existed. So I wound down the hill, stopping to paint the view along the Bulkley River Valley, crossed the bridge and explored Quick Station Road as far as the railway tracks. The bridge, an interesting cantilevered structure of indeterminate age, has steel trusswork and a wooden deck and is, like most of the old bridges in the area, a single lane wide. The roof of the former store, the biggest building of the several along the river, stands up above the trees.
It was so lush and green – the promise of new, fertile land along the route of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway that brought farmers into the area nearly a century ago.
The Quick church, St. John the Divine Anglican, is in good repair on the western end of the Quick road near the highway.
From Melinda Ahern, 2016:
Greetings, outta the blue I searched Quick, BC. I lived there in
the early 70s, as we were "Back to the earth hippies". Old
Patton and his wife still ran the store. We rented a little
cabin, I think the rent was $40.00 a month. In winter we'd trek
up to the old train stop, and fill our water containers from the
hand pump. I think it was our first Winter there when temps went
nearly 60 below! So thankful for body heat! We had moose,
wolves, wild swans, eagles and all that nature could provide.
Living in Quick, changed my life forever. I have (somewhere) a
wonderful picture of the old hotel and store, and the mail stop.
Oh...and the bridge. Just thought it was fascinating and
had to share.
From Ron Wiebe, project
information officer, Northern Region, 2011: I was
trying to get some background history of Quick Bridge as the
Ministry [of Transportation] will soon be rehabilitating
it. I came across your site. Very interesting.
In fact, this was ALL I could find, although I haven’t farmed
the archives of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad yet. Rather
than “indeterminate” age, I can verify that this Howe Truss
structure was constructed in 1921.
Note from Rebecca, 2003, which explained some of this: "im from Smithers which is near Quick...the town is still there and is a small farming community complete with a school etc. The old store is also still there, and is now a home...my old high school art teacher David Gillespie lives in it...he is renovating it...if you drove through quick, im not sure how you missed it...tis the biggest building there...maybe you just didn't recognize it... yup quick is alive...though it's more of just an outskirt of the smithers now....all the hippies and crazy artists and farmers live there...it's nice though!"
Note from Carla Beerens, 2004, St. Albert, Alberta: "I happened upon your Vanishing BC website when I was looking for some information on the Kwinitsa Station, (I am upgrading my fine arts at the U of A, and one of my instructors lived in the station from 55-59). I was so tickled to see a link to Quick; this is the area where I spent 18 years growing up. Your painting of Quick, standing on the hill and overlooking the bridge brings back many memories. (by the way, that area is around where the Jeffrey's used to have their farm, before they moved to the Deep Creek area of Quick). I lived in 'old' Quick from 1958 until 1964 when we moved next to the Quick School. It was a two room school house at that time, and for my first year we still used outside toilets. The building you see in your painting used to be Padden's Store; I lived in the CN shack next to the railroad, left of Padden's store by ~.5 km. My dad, Rolf Beerens, was Section Foreman at the time. There was also a little station stop there, and when the roads were muddy in the spring, we used to have to take the train into Smithers to do our grocery shopping. Padden's store was a remarkable landmark in its day. Sometime back in the 70's or early 80's, Beautiful BC magazine did an expose on the store. Mr Padden was quite a character; he decided the road in front of his store should be called Padden Avenue, even though Quick had no streets! I used to love going into that store as a kid, it was full of neat stuff, we got our mail there, and they had a phone. Mr Padden's wife was a nurse, so when I got together with their grandkids and managed to drink creosote, she knew what to do. I love the fact that you are painting these lost buildings, I have this nostalgic urge to go back via train, and paint along the way. Growing up in Quick has had an influence on me for my art, it had a fairly big hippie colony in my day and I loved that alternate way of thinking."
Note from Bob Fraser, 2004: I happened to come across your painting of the Quick Store. It was of great interest to me as that was where I lived when I worked for Waddam Locke Paddon in 1953. My room was above the store and the window looked out on the bridge. As a seventeen year old bound for adventure from my home near Inverness in Scotland . The journey took me sixteen days . Mr Paddon met me at the Quick station as I had found employment through the CNR in Scotland . They wanted people to settle along the CN Line.