Above Photo: New Hazelton’s Visitors Centre.
For me, New Hazelton’s Visitors Centre is a gateway to the past, starting with the Ksan historical village and living museum of the Gitxsan aboriginal people.
Then there is Old Hazelton, where the buildings have been restored and while walking the streets, it certainly feels like I was walking back into Old Hazelton’s history. It really is a historical village.
There is so much more, but it all starts at the New Hazelton Visitors Centre. There are three colorful characters on the Centre's grounds. I have posted the photos and description of these characters.
Upper Skeena Logger.
Skeena Valley forests were first used by native residents who harvested cedar for canoes, longhouses and clothing. In the late 1800's water and steam powered sawmills cut lumber for construction of a score of pioneer settlements.
During building of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway from 1907 to 1914, millions of rail ties were manufactured from area forests. Up until the end World War ll dozens of family operated logging companies selectively harvested and processed cedar poles.
An annual log drive of thousands of logs down the Skeena River was a major community event. Since the 1950's logging and timber manufacturing have grown to become the largest employers of Hazelton's area residents.
Above Photo: Upper Skeena Logger.
"Hand Of History" Tour.
These sign are your passport into the rich history of the Upper Skeena country. Totems, Indian villages, frontier towns and miles of mountains await the patient explorer.
Follow "Hand of History" tour signs for an insiders look at how a bountiful wilderness has shaped the history of Indian and Pioneer culture. Tour maps available at area Visitor Centres.
Above Photo: "Hand Of History" Tour.
In the early 1900's the lure of gold and silver brought the first permanent population of non-Indian people to the Hazelton's area.
Determined prospectors combed every inch of the region to stake claims with romantic names as Highland Boy, Red Rose, and Golden Wonder. Although most of these ventures failed to hit pay dirt, the remarkable silver standard property produced 520,246 pounds of silver, and 1020 pounds of gold.
The greatest enduring benefit of early mining activity was the number of prospectors and supporting merchants who stayed on to make the Hazelton's a busy centre of pioneer commerce.
Above Photo: Northwest Miner.
John Jacques Caux, Better Known As "Cataline"
His bed was a piece of canvas; his rook, the clouds and stars; his cooking utensil, a frying pan.
He was the best packer in British Columbia and quite possibly North America.
He played a major role in the opening of the Interior. One reason for Cataline's outstanding success as a packer was his friendliness to everyone.
As the years passed, it became accepted that "Cataline" would never fail to fulfill a freight contract.
On a high bench of land overlooking the community of Hazelton and the Skeena River, is a little known grave where lie the remains of one of British Columbia's greatest frontiersmen.
Above Photo: This scence is right across from the New Hazelton’s Visitors Centre.
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