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This page last updated June 16, 2022

© Michael Kluckner

Boston Bar

Written/sketched in 2001: The Canadian National Railway station at Boston Bar in the Fraser Canyon has been "saved" – that is, moved away from the tracks and spared immediate demolition. It is in rather dilapidated shape, but indications are the community and various commercial sponsors will rehabilitate it.

It is, I believe, a "second-class" station on the Canadian Northern Pacific line (amalgamated into the CNR after the First World War) indicating the status of Boston Bar as a divisional point on the railway--a similar significance to North Bend on the CPR on the other side of the Fraser River. As such, it is probably quite a rare survivor, compared with the third-class stations such as the beautifully restored one at Fort Langley.

Photo below from the spring of 2022.

From Vivi Jorgensen, 2021: I am gathering information for a little book I am doing for my grandchildren.  I am looking for information on the internet regarding Boston Bar because my husband's grandfather was born in Boston Bar in 1867, or that is the information I have.   His father was Alex Coutlee, a Frenchman who ran a hotel of some kind in Boston Bar at that time.  Alex was married to a first nations woman called Yentel.  I can find nothing about it, on any of the Boston Bar sites I go to.  They later moved to Coutlee (between Merritt and Ashcroft) where he had an Ashcroft Post office from 1885-1917 I believe it was. 

I have a friend who grew up in Boston Bar and she once was able to get me a picture of that little Coutlee Hotel.  I am not sure how she obtained it, and she is now a sad case of severe dementia.  I am trying to find that picture on sites, with no luck at all.  Neither do I have any information at all on Yentel who would be my husband's great grandmother. 

I would certainly appreciate any history you could supply me with in regards to Alex Coutlee, Joe Coutlee and his mother Yentel.  They must have lived in Boston for a fair amount of time, running their hotel.  (small shack that it was, when you really see it, but still, it was classified as a hotel on the picture I was sent).  It was called the Coutlee Hotel.   

From Chris Race, 2021: I have been looking for a lady that used to live with us for a short while. Her name is Charlotte Johansen. (When she stayed with us she went by the name “Rosie”.) Her parents used to own “The Zoo” in Boston Bar and her dad made various cement statues/ornaments which are currently at The Alpine”, and scattered throughout the area. This is the ‘50s through ‘70s era. I don’t know where Rosie is living now. She moved from here (Mission) to Pitt Meadows but left there to go to the Island (I think). I just thought maybe I could trace her if I knew her sisters' names. Hence, why I am trying to find out the family name by finding out more about her parents that owned the Zoo in Boston Bar. Any help would be appreciated. (She used to play with the native children in Boston Bar when she lived there, as a kid.)

From Dale Cresswell, 2020: In the middle 1980's I worked on a CNR track repair gang and was stationed in Boston Bar for the summer.  Our work unit was called Gang 87.  We would replace the damaged and worn out rails in the Fraser Canyon.  We lived in bunk houses that were loaded onto flatcars and were sitting on a siding directly in the Boston Bar railway yard not far from the mill.  We slept during the day and worked from Midnight to 8 AM.  We did this as it was too hot to work during the day.  Thank goodness our bunks had air conditioning as it was so hot trying to sleep during the day with no shelter cover the bunk houses. Working during the night our foreman warned us that we had to be careful of the rattle snakes that would sometimes curl up around the tracks and falling asleep while waiting for a passing freight train. Because we were working in some tight areas in the canyon with limited space we had to stay alert while a freight train was passing and to make sure we were on the strong side away from the river slope. It was hard work, but we had a lot of fun either going up to the pub in Boston Bar or playing crib and darts at the bunk house.

From Roger Bourque, 2019: In the mid to late 1960’s a friend of mine ran a little café/diner & motel at the south end of Boston Bar. On the left-hand side just on top of the hill heading south out of town. For the life of me no one I know who remembers the place can think of the café’s name. Here is a photo of the site currently – after it burnt down the site was used for storing machinery.

From Crystal Kimber, 2013:
Please help get the word around about Tuckkwiowhum Village in Boston Bar. We have recently erected a Teepee Village on site at the historic village for corporate retreats and team-building sessions. the teepees are available to groups for overnight accommodations. We also offer conference facilities, full service longhouse and catered meals. Indoor toilets and showers. 

From Joan Blakeborough, 2012: Here is the poster for our May Day Celebrations.

From Joan Blakeborough, 2011: There isn't much new, the CNR made an agreement with the Enhancement Society regarding the building. So they have the building on a lease. But they are still negotiating about the land that it sits on. All the documents were submitted, but then the contact person changed so that had to start again and resubmit. This has been going on ever since I moved here in 1997. There is still a member working on it Gerald Rougeau, and progress is checked on at each meeting. So far nothing definite has been worked out. If I hear of the settlement I will let you know.

From Joan Blakeborough, 2002: 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.

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...


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Artwork and text ©Michael Kluckner, 2019