This page last updated April 1, 2016
© Michael Kluckner
From Brian McLeod, 2016: I spent most of my summers up
in North Bend. My uncle was the head dispatcher and lived
in the big white house at the top of the entrance road. It was a
CPR house right next to the school. I remember the Red and White
store, couple of churches, and of course the yard. I was there
when North Bend got it’s swimming pool just up the hill from the
roundhouse. I have a lot of good memories of North Bend and I
thought I would say hello. Oh yes not to forget the ferry across
the river—scared the heck out of me. Anyway thanks for all you
have done for our North Bend. I usually make a couple of trips a
year back to her.
First Creek Bridge
Mountain Lady Slippers
Cliff Fisher with the native orchids
Old powder shack
On a different note. I read a comment by a lady by the name of
Yvonne Gowen wondering where her great uncle Beau Gowen lived.
From Raoul Duke, 2015: was wondering whereabouts the hobo camp was and any info on bo's in the area would be appreciated, thank you.
From Patrick Wheelhouse, 2015: My Grand Mother and
Father are from North Bend, my great uncle Elmer as well, I so
hoped I could find a picture of June Carlson and Godfrey
Carlson, I was only 2 when I lived a summer in North Bend
with my Grand Parents, did return and go to school there in
grade 5 if I remember correctly. What a wonderful community it
was, I so loved the ferry across the river to Boston Bar, always
exciting for a child, my brother was terrified but not me. My
Uncle Elmer worked the store for many years on North Bend and my
Grandfather ran the bottle depot from his home just a few houses
down the street. I believe my Grandmother June worked cleaning
the CPR bunkhouses. Wonderful memories of North Bend, your
pictures brought back a lot of memories for me.
From LD Lawn Care, 2014:
Unknown photographer, date c. 1920?
From Larry Turner, 2014: My parents moved to North Bend
in 1958 , I was born in May 1959 and as a child I grew up
exploring the great history surrounding the Fraser Canyon until
leaving in the winter of 1987. Boston Bar originated in the
1860s downstream approx. 3 miles just south of the Westerlund
farm between the existing CPR tracks and the river. The river
bar by that name is across the Fraser River from the mouth of
Anderson creek. When the CPR railroad was built in the 1880s
North Bend was created and the town of Boston Bar was moved to
the east side of the river just north of the confluence of the
Fraser and Anderson creek. This put the town next to the Caribou
Trail. Due to flooding that occurred in the years after Boston
Bar was moved further north to higher ground.
On a different note. I read a comment by a lady by the name of
Yvonne Gowen wondering where her great uncle Beau Gowen lived.
Can you put me in touch with her?
From Rob Dumont, 2014: I am looking for information on a sawmill that operated in North Bend, BC in the 1940s and early 1950s. I believe the name of the sawmill was Kitsilano Sawmills. I believe it was located about 5 km north of where the old aerial ferry was located.
From Dave Hills, 2014:
Would you happen to have any contacts for a museum or maybe
historical society in the North Bend area? Reason being my
Grandfather was stationed there in the Mounted Police, sometime
between about 1905 and 1925, or thereabouts. I'd like to find
out if there are any surviving service records or perhaps
photographs of him in the archives.
From Peter Skobin, 2014:
our family lived in North Bend from 1949 till 1958. We live in
the Bahamas and would like to be at this year's May day
celebrations. Can you send me more info also would like to see
the museum in the old school.
From Michael Gordon, 2013: My
great Uncle George Robertson Gordon (my grandfather's oldest
brother) arrived in North Bend in 1885 "merchandizing" before
settling in Granville (Vancouver in 1886). This is an excerpt
from his biographical entry in Volume III of British Columbia:
From the earliest times to the present (SJ Clarke, 1914):
From Dan Clark, 2013: I'm
the GGGrandson of Thomas Clark, the CPR station agent at
Yale 1901 - 1911 (at least). I believe he was the station master
at Lytton around 1916, since his son John Godfrey Clark
homesteaded at the mouth of the Stein River. I think John
Godfrey took over as the station master.
Do you know if there are CPR records that I could use as a
resource to find out more about Thomas, John Godfrey and other
Clarks who worked on the railroad (George Campbell was the
telegraph operator in Yale in 1911).
From Charlotte (McKenzie)
Senger, 2012: Happened to discover the North Bend
history and although I lived there for only a year
(1959-60) I still remember my classmates of grade eleven and
wonder where they are today. I read the note from Kay Henderson
(Wiebe). She listed her siblings and one of them (Doug) was in
school with me. She might know some of the others that I
met that year, as well.......don't wish to be nosy..........
just at the age when you think a lot about the past.
From Joan Blakeborough, 2012: Here is the poster for our May Day Celebrations. Also I have a note for one of your contributors, Charlotte Granewall. I have the early school teachers and auditors list. On it for 1913-1914--1914-1915 her uncle Abraham was the school auditor. I thought she might not have this information, and would like it for her records.
Note from Arlana Nickel, 2010: I have come across some more photos pertaining to North Bend BC and was wondering if they could be put on the Vanishing BC site. These are photos that have people identified. I just thought they might help people researching their family history.
Unless otherwise noted, the photographs below are by Aida Abray Snowden and were submitted by Arlana Nickel.
Bill Snowden at North Bend
Maude Abray with granddaughter Bonnie Snowden at the Snowden's little house, c.1914. The house burned down long ago.
Passenger train at North Bend station
Marjorie and Beatrice Balfour, Aida's cousins from Vancouver, at Chaumox Station, about 5 miles east on the CPR line from North Bend. Apparently this little shack was only recently torn down.
Pearl Snowden, aged 5 in 1919, as May Queen with a crown of mock-orange blossoms. She lives today in Kamloops. Sister Bonnie, directly behind her with the small crown, was the "crowner" as she received the second number of votes.
Can anyone add names to any of the other children?
Bonnie and Pearl Snowden about 1916 with Caroline, the Snowdens' "mother's helper," a native girl from the Nlaka'pamux nation. According to a family story, the North Bend policeman, a Mr. Wyatt, crawled through her bedroom window one night and impregnated her. In the ensuing scandal, Bill Snowden was initially blamed, and the provincial police moved Wyatt on to another posting. And Caroline was let go, returning presumably to her family. Mr. Wyatt, the jailer, was a married man. They lived at the back of the jailhouse located to the right of the Snowden home not far from the Anglican Church.
Subsequently, a woman named Corinne, who had a native mother and a Portuguese father, lived with the family for many years.
[I wonder whether anyone can turn up more detail on this tale?]
New Year's Party in North Bend, late 1940s. Back row, l to r: Bert Green, Milt Morrow, Jack Sahaydak, Bill Barry, Cy Muschik; Middle: Dolly Brown, Paul Sharp, Harry Cooper; Front: Ralph Baird, Kelly Robertson, Bob Ireland, A.B. Baird, Mike Gorik; Front and centre: Buster Grant. Photo from Wendy Sahaydak.
Note from Em W: My name is emily, my mother's maiden name is Laura Brown. Ilive about two and a half hours from North Bend and today my grandfather Ed (or Trigger) Brown took me up to his childhood hometown of north bend. He showed my brother and I the house that he lived in when he was a boy. It was very old and we went inside to where he showed me where his sister slept, where the deck was and where everything else was when he lived there. I got quite interested in the old house and did some research, then I saw your site. The house in the pictures you have are pictures of my grandfathe'rs house. Then i saw the picture of the people in the house....and i saw my great-grndfather Dolly Brown.
Note from Charlotte Granewall: My great uncle Abraham Crosson lived in North Bend 1910-1919. He was a switchman for the CPR. His wife Madeline and Uncle Abe took in my father and his 3 siblings when my grandmother died in 1911. My dad lived there for two years. Several weeks ago my husband and I visited North Bend to see what is there as I am working on my Crosson family tree. I believe my family lived in one of the CPR homes "highline houses." The only photo I have of that time is this 1911 school photograph of North Bend School. In the photo are my aunt, Winnifred Charlotte Crosson age 7/8, and my uncle Stanley Thomas Crosson age 5/6. My father Jack Crosson would have been 3/4 at the time and too young for school.
Note from Arlana Nickel: North Bend school children -- My mother, Bonnie Snowden is directly in front of the teacher and her sister, Pearl Snowden is the fifth from the left in the front row. The girl on the far right is Aida Southwell. None other are identified, however my Aunt Pearl may be able to identify the teacher and possibly some others. This picture, I believe would've been taken about 1920 or 1921.
George Abray's 13th Birthday photo taken Sept. 1915 by Aida Abray Snowden
Along with a lot of the others, this
picture was taken by Aida Abray Snowden, George Abray's
sister. She has numbered the names on the back of the
|CPR Engineers at
North Bend BC
(l to r) Wm. R. Snowden (turned in chair),
Mr. Daniels (smoking pipe)
|Fooke and King, two Chinese gardeners who worked for Jackson T. Abray at the Mountain Hotel North Bend|
|North Bend Summer 1915 Mrs Barber, Lorna and Jackie, Bonnie Snowden (sitting)|
(front l to r)
Len Galloway, engineer, Ethel Wilkes, Aida Abray Snowden, Kathleen Pearson Southwell
Beatie Southwell with Billy Hay, engineer
Beatie Southwell, Maude McDonald (nurse) holding Aida Southwell
Billy Burton North Bend Dec 1916
Billy Hay, engineer, with Helen and Beatie Southwell
possibly Mr. Johnson, hostler
North Bend 1917 – Miss Norton (nurse) holding Lloyd Snowden (baby), Bonnie Snowden (age 5), Pearl Snowden (age 3)
Mr. Hugh McDonald and Fooke, North Bend 1911
General North Bend correspondence
(To respond to any of these, it's probably best to contact me and I'll post the reply or pass it on if I can)
From Joan Blakeborough, 2011: I run the history room/museum in North Bend, located in the old school. The bottom half of the school is now a thrift store and the upper floor is a seniors drop-in centre and my history/museum. Our small newsletter published monthly is called the UpDate. Our web page address is www.bostonbarbc.net The site contains a lot of our history, local celebrations and contacts.
Note from Eithne C Farr, Cork, Ireland, 2010: I have recently been going through some correspondence belonging to my late grandfather and found a letter from his uncle Edward Farr sent in 1918. I wonder would any for the correspondents on your page know any thing about descendants etc. He was originally from Dunmanway in County CORK, Ireland. Both my grandfather and his uncle were named Edward Farr.
Note from Kevin Todd: I am trying to find information on Adeline Irene Watson (née Burton). She married Judson Hume Cole Watson in North Bend July 3 1912. I am wondering if she taught school at North Bend?
Note from Mandi Kerr-Fountain: I grew up in Boston Bar and lived there till I was 18-- I am now 30, a little bit after the timeline that you are researching ... I do, however wonder if my grandmother would be of help to any of the people listed on the site. I will copy out the website-sans pictures and see if she, Mary Rankin-Chalmers can help with any things or if she has some pictures of Boston Bar/North Bend of that era in the Fraser Canyon. My grandfather was the Superintendant of the road back then and I wonder if there is any connections between when they lived in Boston Bar and the times that you all are researching. I love to hear her stories still and as she has just turned 86 I believe that her history and the things that she has seen should be taken down before too much longer...
Note about Keefers from Sharon Blythe... My mother, Jerry Nickerson-(Kirkland), taught school in Keefers from Setember of 1952 to June of 1954. The old school had only one room, and she had to take in a 5 year old so that there would be 10 studemts, just enough to keep the school open. She boarded with a lovely lady named Elsie Hannah, who had a son named John. My sister and I , at 10 years of age, would be put on the CP Rail train at Haig Station near Hope by our grandmother, and traveled to Keefers on weekends. We always stayed with a charming Italian named Tony and his lovely Japanese wife, Mary. There were dances held in the old school. An old timer who had a huge goiter kept the wind-up gramaphone wound, and the RR workers of all nationalities taught my sister and I how to old time waltz, shawteesh and polka. In 1953 the new pre-fab school was built, which had a teacherage. That building is now located near the Fraser Canyon hospital and is used for continuing education.
Note from Antoinette de Wit: I am a very proud former resident of the Village of North Bend and have fond memories of my life there. My dad (Max DeWit) was a CPR man, working as the Wire Chief in the Telecommunications office beside the CPR Hotel. We lived on the Highline in House #2 ... it was a beautiful house, with a great big yard, where we planted seeds every year! Skunks took residence under our backyard shed and I'd look out at them from the second story bedroom window. Snakes were a popular sight and in those days I actually would pick them up by their tails! (not something I would like do now!) I did return to North Bend a couple of times before and after the building of the bridge. It was depressing and everything seemed smaller and overgrown. I am a writer now and I do eventually plan to return a third time to reflect on days gone by and recreate the memories. If people would like to share their 1959 to 1968 memories with me, please have them contact me through my personal email. I would love to hear from anyone who might remember me and they could remind me about certain things about me that I may not even remember! I would especially like to find my favourite teacher Carolyn Unruh who eventually married Ken or Doug Wilson. and furthermore:Further to my previous message, I have returned to North Bend twice, awe-inspired by the experience, and written a 3 part short story which has been published in the local newspaper entitled Fraser Canyon Express. The website unfortunately does not have access to back issues but the editor could provide them by request. I am also pleased to say that I located my favourite Grade 3 teacher "Miss Unruh" who became "Mrs. Wilson" and this journey into my past has been absolutely amazing. I intend to write and publish more stories. Again, if anyone remembers me and would like to trigger my memory about things and incidents between 1960 and 1968, I'd love to hear from them. firstname.lastname@example.org .
Note from Dave Pearl: In searching the web for names of people who lived in Keefers, B.C., I am hoping you can direct me to anyone who lived or still lives in Keefers. I spent my childhood with my Uncle Henry who worked for the CPR in Keefers around 1935-39, coming from Calgary, Alberta.
Note from Kay Henderson (Wiebe): My family moved to NorthBend from Golden in 1957& lived in one of the "Highline" houses. My dad, George Wiebe (wife Kay) was roadmaster for the C.P.R.from 1957-1965 then moved & worked in Sicamous until his retirement. Most of the gentleman in the picture on your website are very familier to me Bert Green, Milt Morrow etc. & most lived in North Bend at the same time as my parents. I was already married when my family moved to North Bend but enjoyed many visits there so became very familier with all their friends including Nina & Elmer Carlson & their sons. My sister Donna was also a May Queen (& attended the reunion;) she married Ken Wilson son of Kay & Howard Wilson. A couple years ago my husband & I took a detour off the highway at Boston Bar to experience the "bridge" compared to the aerial ferry . The only part of our nostalgic side trip that never changed was the aroma of creosote.....& yes we found one of the highline houses open 'so just had to have a peak. Siblings who attended N/B school ; Dennis, Doug, Donna, Shirley, Bob.
Note from Leslie Jensen: My Grandmother, Caroline Mickelson was born in North Bend around 1900. She attended the North Bend school, she may be in the picture that Charlotte Granewall submitted for your web site. I think she would have been 10 or 11 years old. I believe my grandmother lived in North Bend until she was 20. I am now researching that part of my family history. My grandmother's mother was a First Nation's woman from the North Bend area, I am trying to find information about her, also.
Note from Dorothy Rowse: I grew up in North Bend and left in 1948. As of late there have been a few inquiries of family members trying to re-capture roots. I have 3 older sisters but I seem to be able to remember more than they can. I have only started on this search-- I have a cousin who grew up in Boston Bar, Maybe the two of us will start putting some of our memories down while there may be still a few more with some history left to relate. Wish I had done this before. Maybe some one else has. Perhaps you know.
"Note from Yvonne Gowen: We are compiling our family history, and have a mysterious relative we are trying to learn about. The family story is that he worked on a farm or ranch at North Bend, called Stadacona Farm. There is a creek in the Yale district named "Gowen Creek". We think this was named after him. His name was Hammond Gowen, nicknamed 'Beau Gowen'. He was born in 1871 and eventually died in Seattle, Washington in 1965. If you have ever heard of Stadacona Farm, or Gowen Creek please get in touch."
Note from me: Bill Young was writing a series of stories about North Bend in the Fraser Canyon Express.
From Joan Blakeborough: Next year  the Boston Bar-North Bend Historical Society would like to have a Boston Bar North Bend community re-union at their May Day celebrations on May 24, 2003 weekend. Perhaps with your web page we can let others know about this. We are also working on the May Day Queens dating back to Mabel Smith in 1927 to the present. We have pictures of most of the Queens now but still need clarification on some dates and names. At the re-union we will have a slide show of the Queens as well as the albums for people to browze through.
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