Canoe River

Feature type: Railway Point
Province: British Columbia
Location: Flows E into Kinbasket Lake near Valemount
Latitude: 52°44’00”
Longitude: 119°16’00”
NTS map: 83D/11
Official name listed at BC Geographical Names

In 1811, at this river’s confluence with the Columbia River, North West Company explorer David Thompson and his men built the canoe in which they voyaged to the mouth of the Columbia. Birch trees grew in the vicinity, but because of the mild climate, according to Thompson, the bark was too thin to use. So his men “split out thin boards of Cedar wood of about six inches in breadth and builded a Canoe of twenty-five feet by fifty inches in breadth, of the same form of a common canoe, using cedar boards instead of Birch Rind, which proved to be equally light and much stronger than Birch Rind, the greatest difficulty which we had was sewing the boards to each other round the timbers. As we had no nails we had to make use of the fine Roots of the Pine which we split.”

References:

  • Thompson, David. Narrative 1784-1812. Toronto: Champlain Society, 1962

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