Tag Archives: Grand Trunk Pacific

Mile 29

British Columbia. Railway point
About a mile west of Red Pass
Not currently an official name.
Police Barracks at Mile 29. Alan K. Bourchier, 1911 (Item 2009.5.3.48)

Police Barracks at Mile 29. Alan K. Bourchier, 1911 (Item 2009.5.3.48)
Northern British Columbia Archives

I left Vancouver on May 20th [1912], with a party of twelve men to survey land within the reserve on the south fork of the Fraser River, about fifty miles below Tête Jaune Cache. There are three different routes to get into this country, probably the most expeditious one being via Edmonton — the way we went. Taking from Edmonton, by special permission of the Railway Commission, we travelled over the Grand Trunk Pacific as far as the end of steel, which at that time was Resplendent, twenty-nine miles west of the British Columbia-Alberta boundary. Owing to the fact that the Grand Trunk has not been opened for traffic farther west than Hinton, 185 miles west of Edmonton, it was necessary to get this special permission before we were allowed to travel the remaining ninety-eight miles to the end of steel.

— A. P. Augustine

Mile Zero on the British Columbia section of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was at Yellowhead Pass.

The South Fork of the Fraser River is the main branch of the river, the North Fork is now known as the McGregor River.

References:

  • Augustine, A. P. “Report on surveys on the South Fork of Fraser River.” Report of the Minister of Lands for the Province of British Columbia for the year ending 31st December 1912, (1913)

Mile 49

British Columbia. Railway point
Near Tête Jaune Cache
Not currently an official name.
Mile 49 buildings, 1913. Henningville (Mile 49), Tete Jaune area. Jowett Collection

Mile 49 buildings, 1913. Henningville (Mile 49), Tete Jaune area. Jowett Collection
Valemount & Area Museum

Tête Jaune Cache magistrate William A. Jowett noted in his diary in June, 1914: “To 49 for Henning’s surprise party on his return from being married with Bel and had a good time!”
The mileage is reckoned from Yellowhead Pass along the railway.

The construction company of Palmer Brothers & Henning were contractors on the construction of the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway, and had a siding on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway line at Mile 49, near Tête Jaune Cache, to service their camps on the Canoe River. In the years after 1912, Henningville grew into a small hamlet with a Canadian Northern Pacific warehouse and some dozen other buildings, including the Austin Brothers store, Cox’s post office, and a pool hall. The name Henningville was rarely used, because the railroaders all called the location “49.”

References:

  • Walker, James Alexander [1887–1959]. “South fork of Fraser River, Dore River to Clearwater River. December 15, 1913.” Report of the Minister of Lands, (1914). Google Books

McBride

British Columbia. Village
Between Prince George and Valemount
53°18’15” N 120°9’50” W — Map 093H08 — GoogleGeoHack
Name officially adopted in 1965
Official in BCCanada
Sir Richard McBride

Sir Richard McBride
Wikipedia


In 1911 Grand Trunk Pacific Railway surveyors chose as a townsite and divisional point Mile 90, where the valley opened up into a wide flat area with an ample water supply. They named the new town after the premier of British Columbia, Richard McBride (1870-1917). In 1910, when Louie Knutson first came through what is now the village of McBride, it was known as the Flats. The McBride post office opened in February 1914.

Richard McBride was the first British Columbia premier to be born in the province. In the provincial election of 1898 he was elected member for Dewdney, and after re-election in 1900 he accepted the post of Minister of Mines. In the session of 1902 he was elected leader of those opposed to the Dunsmuir government. James Dunsmuir retired that year, and when the Lieutenant-Governor dismissed the succeeding government in 1903, McBride as asked to form a new government. He was the youngest man ever to become premier of British Columbia.

McBride’s government chartered a new railway, the Grand Trunk Pacific, but the government did not initially grant a subsidy. Later it did make certain grants which lead to cries of corruption and a demand for investigation. After winning another election in 1907, McBride went off to England, where Lord Grey observed, “I like the look of that picturesque buffalo, McBride.” For his labours on behalf of the province, his ardent support of the Conservative party, his promotion of the imperial connection, his championing of the navy and for the loyal support he gave the federal Prime Minister, Robert Borden recommended to the Governor-General that McBride be invested with the Order of the Knight, Commander of St. Michael and St. George.

In the years before the 1914-1918 war, the financial state of the province deteriorated. The outbreak of the war on 4 August 1914 gave McBride a relief from the pressures of domestic politics, railways’ subsidies, suffragettes and discontented workers. McBride’s most famous decision was the acquisition of two Seattle-built submarines in early August 1914, just before American neutrality laws came into effect. “The people’s Dick” beat Uncle Sam to the draw. A few days later the submarines were taken over by the Dominion government.

The political situation which had existed in 1914 was not improved the next year. To escape any further difficulties he went to London for three months. When he returned to Victoria in the summer, he seemed to lack his usual resilience and energy. On 15 December 1915, his forty-fifty birthday, McBride resigned. He was in poor health and found it increasingly difficult to cope with affairs. McBride settled in London, where he became agent-general for British Columbia. Health declining, he resigned his post on 20 May 1917, hoping to return to his native province. He died on 6 August 1917, at age 47.

References:

  • Jackman, S. W. Portraits of the premiers: An informal history of British Columbia. Sidney, B.C.: Grey’s Publishing, 1969
  • Wheeler, Marilyn. The Robson Valley Story. McBride, B.C.: Robson Valley Story Group, 1979
  • Wikipedia. Richard McBride

Knole station

British Columbia. settlement
Former name of Rider
Not currently an official name.

The Knole railway station was situated 21 miles west of McBride. The name of this station was no doubt selected from the list of names that Josiah Wedgwood submitted to Grand Trunk Railway president Charles Melville Hays. Knole of Sevenoaks in Kent, England, was once the palace of the archbishops of Canterbury.

William Pittman Hinton, general passenger agent of the Grand Trunk, asked Josiah Wedgewood of Wedgewood China fame, to submit a list of names suitable for naming the stations on the new railway line, consequently many station names on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway have a connection to England,

In 1916 noted English author Sir Henry Ryder Haggard travelled through the area on the GTPR. He was so impressed with the scenery and wrote very glowingly about it that the mountain above Crescent Spur was named Mount Rider and the glacier on the mountain was called Haggard Glacier. The rail stop at Knole was renamed Rider in his honour.

References:

  • Olson, Raymond W. Gost Towns on the East Line. Prince George, B.C.: Raymond W. Olson, 2017
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