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The site of Aldermere is on Provincial
and the core area is managed by the Village of Telkwa.
There are four public access points/walking trails
shown on brochures of walking trails,
distributed by the Village of Telkwa, and the Telkwa Museum.
(see Ext Link Below)
1904- The First Townsite in this area,
located on a bluff, East of present day Tower St.,
above the present Village of
(Tel-kwa, Telqua are alt. spellings)
Located 60 miles East from Hazelton
Per Doug Boersema, Telkwa Museum:
"Aldermere is actually at the
SW end of Tyhee Lake.
Tyhee Lake or Tyee Lake or Taye (Father A.G. Morice),
was also called Aldermere Lake,
named by a Government Surveyor,
named Gauvreau, in the late 1890's.
McClure Lake was named by the Collins Telegraph party."
Doug also corrected the Public Land info above.
Alan Pickard from
NZ, a former researcher in the valley
sent this info for naming Aldermere.
Gauvreau did not mention
anything about what is now Tyhee Lake,
when he did his walking survey in 1891.
From Report of Bulkley Valley Survey, by A.L. Poudrier, January 1893
(survey done in 1892),
"Township 4, . . . Parts of Sections 2 and 3 are covered by a lake,
which we have called
Aldermere. It is a fine body of water,
emptying into the Bulkley by a short stream.
On the north end there is a small house,
built years ago as a station of the Union Telegraph Company,
and now occupied by Indians."
Per D. Boersema
"Your map is
not very accurate.
The 1866 map from the original telegraph builders,
and the pre-empters maps from 1921
which we have displayed in the museum are much more accurate.
The original line was on the east side of the lake but in 1907,
The telegraph operator, 'Spud' Murphy was instructed to move the office
from the cabin at the north end of the lake
(now across from my driveway) into Aldermere.
He had new poles put on the west side of the lake through Aldermere .
Your map shows the telegraph trail going through
the present location of the town of Houston
but in fact that loop was bypassed."
Land Staked by
John Dorsey in 1904
He came to the area in March 1904.
per Alan Pickard- "I
believe John Dorsey went into the Bulkley Valley in 1903.
This is a matter of interpretation of words in newspaper articles.
There is a long article in Victoria Daily Colonist for July 21 1904,
on John Dorsey."
He was a Principal Owner in the North Coast Land Company Limited
which was incorporated in BC in 1910.
He was a well known Timber Cruiser and Prospector.
I originally had found the following
information in the old newspapers:
He produced the First Newspaper in the Bulkley Valley.
Dorsey brought his printing outfit in on a couple pack mules,
from Hazelton to Aldermere.
He printed his first issue on wrapping paper
he borrowed from the local butcher shop.
One issue of "The Bulkley Pioneer" was produced here.
It was moved to Port Simpson and called "The Pioneer"
He then convinced Joseph Coyle to settle here.
But not everything in the old papers is right obviously,
as this correction came from D. Boersema:
"Dorsey did not produce
the first news paper. In Hazelton, He ran into
whom he persuaded to put the company's printing press together in Telkwa
where it was published but it was mailed in Aldermere where there was a
post office for a year. The paper was called the Bulkley Pioneer.
later started the Interior News in Aldermere in 1910 and he also was the
inventor of the egg carton. Dorsey could not have punished a paper. He
did not have that skill. The printing press came on the steamer in 1907. (from Coyle's
own notes). From my research the first paper was called "Bulkley
Pioneer". When Coyle's contract was up he started his own called
"The Bulkley Pioneer".
This led to court proceedings and Coyle moved to Hazelton where he
started the Omenica Herald with a partner in 1909. In 1910 he came back
to Aldermere Where he started the "Interior News" in a log cabin near
the Telkwa Hotel. "
May 1905, Joseph and Victor Spencer,
of the Spencer Company,
were reported in the papers,
as the owners of the Aldermere Townsite,
and large amounts of grazing land adjoining.
They were bringing in horses and cattle from Quesnel
using the telegraph trail, left in June, arrived in July 1905.
per Alan Pickard- "Victor Spencer owned 160 acres here in July 1905.
Victor Spencer was given the Crown Grant for 160 acres
for the Nth ½
of NE ¼ of Section 26
and the Sth ½ of SE ¼ of Section 35, Township 5 Range 5 Coast, on 24
Haven't been able to verify this yet,
but I think this is the David Spencer Company in Victoria.
He had 13 children and was a very wealthy man.
I know his son Victor Spencer bought many ranches in the south of
It would not surprise me he bought here as well.
see 1910 insert below where they sold their land.
Per Alan Pickard- "Check out The
Omineca Herald for Saturday September 10, 1910,
for then owners of Aldermere townsite.
Of course, this does not mean these men owned the site in 1905."
"The Victoria Colonist for 7 November 1906 says H. Fink is a
partner in the townsite of Aldermere."
"The Colonist for 18 September 1906 says the Aldermere townsite
was aquired by A. Kincald."
don't know what share Dorsey owned
but I agree that the Spencers owned a lot,
and I think Broughton and McNeil must have bought a lot of lots from
Packers charged 3 cents/lb in the area in
1906- It had 2 Hotels, Assay Office and
1906- Broughton &
McNeil owned one of the
2 Hotels in Aldermere.
ca 1907- Members of the Greenwood Hutterite
were located throughout this area.
I would have read this note from an old newspaper, but was it
Note from D. Boersema: "
I never heard about this Hutterite
Colony. I read a lot of the first papers and did not see that. They
are not mentioned in the prize winning booklet written by Marjory
Hoops for the Women's institute. None of the early photos show
people in Hutterite dress. The Greenwood Hutterites did arrive in
Alberta in 1907."
1907- they had to use Horse or canoe to
cross the Bulkley River
there was no ferry or bridge at that time.
Addition from D. Boersema "Mr. Leach, a mining inspector,
reported that he needed a horse or canoe in 1906,
but there was a reaction ferry in 1907, and bridge in 1910"
1908- Aldermere had 2 Hotels, Blacksmith Shop,
Livery Stable, Newspaper (Interior News)
Broughton & McNeil General Store, and Post Office
June 1908- a Bath House was opened by a
1909- Si Thompson opened a Livery Stable in
1909- Fred Heal Jr. was returning to
Aldermere from Victoria
He was one of the Pioneer Settlers in the area.
Frederick George "Fred" Heal Jr.
b- Mar 12, 1887, near Victoria BC
enlisted in 1914 in WWI, Reg #28746
next of kin his mother- Mrs. Annie M. Heal, Aldermere, BC
Occupation- Broker, not married in 1914
son of Frederick George Heal Sr.
b- Mar, 1864 in Victoria, BC,
d- 1927 in Telkwa BC.
He came into the Valley, ca 1904.
son of John Heal, and Ann Julia Heal
Sr. married Ann Margaret "Annie" Anderson, June 1, 1886 in Victoria BC
b- Aug 1865, Grass Valley, CA,
d- 1928 in Telkwa BC
daughter of George William Anderson and Mary Ann Anderson
Sr. had 8 children, 7 were sons.
Fred Jr. (listed above),
Herbert William Heal, Ernest R. Heal, Charles A. Heal, Dudley V.Heal,
Harold Heal, Wilfred H. Heal, and Mary Heal
Sr. homesteaded the large Aldermere Ranch, near Tyhee Lake
It straddled the Telegraph Trail.
Additional info from D. Boersema:
Heal Senior was the First Pioneer to move here,
with a wife and teenage
children in 1904
to the east side of Tyee lake straddling the early
Fred Jr. was later mentioned selling real estate."
Oct 1910- J. R. Blank of Glasgow, bought
the Aldermere Townsite.
He bought out the Syndicate, consisting of 5 men:
Lem Broughton, James A.
Victor Spencer, Joseph Spencer, and Harry Fink.
Some lots were already sold in the plotted Townsite at this point.
Additional info from D. Boersema:
don't know much about the Syndicate. I did come across Harry Fink as a
linesman on the telegraph line and also owning land near the Telegraph
cabin near Quick, the same cabin where Lem Broughton was operator in
1904, before he teamed up with Jack McNeil to start the business in
Aldermere. You did not mention John Dorsey as owner of the North Cost
land Co. here, but you claimed he was an owner in 1904. I believe he
may have worked for them, but in 1907 he was already telling Coyle that
Telkwa was the better prospect."
Ouelete is also mentioned as sharing the ownership of a two cabin hotel/
stopping place just outside the north border of Aldermere, with John
Dorsey. John did not include his own property into the town survey. One
of those cabins was later (1905) moved into Aldermere by McNeil, who had
bought out Dorsey."
per Alan Pickard- "Henry Fink was
stated to be a Lineman at Bulkley Ranch
from 1 August 1902 until 30 June 1908. He was then a lineman at
Aldermere until 1914.
- From Canada
b- Jan 16, 1883, Exidor, ON
d- Feb 1, 1952 Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Vernon BC, age 69
son of Henry Fink, b- Germany, and Lois Nidinger, b- in ON
1916, Harry and Bertha in Strathcona, AB
Harry in Edmonton West, AB in 1921, with Bertha
married Bertha Pearl Fink, nee Cohlmier
b- Mar 13, 1888 in ND, USA
d- Sept 18, 1978 Enderby BC, age 90
ca 1910- Telegraph Office here,
Government Telegraph- Edward Murphy, Manager
James Augustus Hodder was Telegraph Operator/Lineman
b- Aug 28, 1868 in Newfoundland
d- Apr 1, 1961 in Provincial Infirmary, Marpole, Vancouver, age 92
buried in Mt. view Cemetery, Vancouver BC
he lived in Hazelton
son of Robert Hodder and Mary Hodder, nee ?
married to Lavina Mayo, who died before him
1910- Sawmill here, operated by Joe Bourgon
1910- Neil McDonald- Police Constable
1910-1911- one of the Hotels was managed by
W. S. McDonell
He died in Hazelton May 1911, age 23.
son of R. J. McDonell
2 brothers George McDonell and James McDonell
Sister- Mrs. Robert Burns of Fort George BC in 1911
Additions / Corrections from D. Boersema:
were three Murphy's mentioned in the paper. I though that Spud was
really Joe. He had a brother who had to go back to Vancouver for his
health and he had a son who came to visit him. He was operator in 1907
and Joe Bourgon , Willie Croteau and Ernie Moren, a book keeper ,were
the first owners of the mill , started in 1907, located outside of
Aldermere the west side of the creek that runs out of the lake. (west
McDonell owned the New Telkwa Hotel in
Telkwa after the original company sold it. That hotel had been run by a
Mr. Orchard who later started one in Smithers. The hotel in Aldermere
was called Telkwa Hotel, before there was a Telkwa. The hotel in Telkwa
1906 was called the New Telkwa Hotel. There was also '
-1913 Bulkley House
Wakmirovich- beds, lunch counter, cigars etc."
1910- James Duhamel operated a Hotel here.
Note from D. Boersema-
haven't heard of James Duhammel, but a lot of stories are written
about George Duhammel, that he came from Quebec, that he was a
telegraph operator and that he was operating the ferry before 1910
when the bridge opened. The early companies did do some false
advertizing when they proclaimed in 1907 that the hotel was opposite
the bridge which was not built yet."
per Alan Pickard- "I
don't know where you got your information re James Duhamel? George
Duhamel came to the Bulkley Valley in 1904. Before this he was a
lineman at the 8th Cabin on the Yukon Telegraph line. He built
Glacier House, which could he called a hotel, at Glentanna Corner
about 1905/6. He then worked at various jobs around the Telkwa area
until he shot himself on 7 April 1920."
1910- There was a Telqua Hotel here.
Mar 1912- Frank McClain opened a harness
shop in Aldermere.
Then in Jan 1913 he bought the harness shop from Stanley Jones here.
1912- Many were living in Tents due to lack
1912- Robert "Bob" Heddle was the
Mar 1913- he sold out and moved south.
A Robert Sabiston Heddle died in Smithers Dec 29, 1931 age 59
was this the Blacksmith here?
Apr 1913- W. E. Covert opened a Photo
Gallery in Aldermere
Mar 1915- Broughton &
in this area, moved their Store, from Aldermere to
Hotel closed in 1915, as well as PO (see below)
addition per D. Boersema: Dec 20, 1913- John
Dorsey passed away
1916- the Police Constable was moved to
Feb 12, 1916, The Last Person to leave Aldermere
was the Telegraph Operator,
E. G. Ayliffe, who was transferred to
North Bulkley. (shown
in map above)
Ewart Gladstone Ayliffe
b- Jan 7, 1888, Bath England, age 30 when he married
d- Mar 18, 1959 St. Joseph's Hospital, Victoria BC, age 71
buried in St. Anne's Churchyard, Parksville BC
son of Henry Ayliffe and Annie Williams
He was retired, living in Parksville BC.
married Annie Sisko, Mar 8, 1918, in Christ Church, Vancouver BC
b- Wellington BC, age 23 when married
She was a nurse.
daughter of Andrew Sisko, and Barbara Lorin Chak
They had a daughter Dorothy
One of the more famous people from this
Joseph Leopold Coyle.
He is best known as the
Inventor of the Egg Carton
He applied for a Patent Aug 6, 1917.
Patent date June 11, 1918
Coyle Egg-Safety Carton, (see link below)
Coyle Safety Carton Company
Joseph Leopold Coyle
b- May 31, 1871 in Ambleside, Bruce Co., ON
d- Apr 18, 1972 Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster BC
buried in Oceanview Cemetery, New Westminster BC
He lived to be 101.
son of James Coyle, b- Ireland and Ellen Hefferman, b- ON
married Augusta Winnifred Bradley, Nov 2, 1908
married in St. Peter's Church, Hazelton BC
b- July 8, 1878, Acton, London, Middlesex, England, age 28 when
d- June 3, 1964 St. Mary's Hospital, New Westminster BC, age 85
daughter of Henry George Bradley, and Frances Ratcliffe.
Note- The Telkwa Museum has a letter from
Coyle's daughter Ellen
telling about her life in Aldermere.
part of a 1906 map
Tp 3, 4, 6 and 8 shown
McClure Lake, Coffin Lake, Round Lake
Bulkley River, Telkwa River, Pine Creek
route of telegraph line shown
Correction for map above from D. Boersema:
map 1906 shows a faulty location of a telegraph cabin. The one was at
the north end of Tyhee lake, picture in Swamp to Village where it is
incorrectly labelled. And the other is still standing on the Quick East
road. It had been moved south about half a mile from the early Fink
Post Office Archive
Name of Office:
Federal Electoral District: Comox - Atlin (BC)
Office Opened Apr 1, 1905
Office closed Apr 15, 1915
|Name of Postmaster
||Date of Appointment
||Date of Vacancy
||Cause of Vacancy
|Robert F. Campbell
|James A. Ouellet
|Lemuel "Lem" Broughton
|John Joseph McNeil
This reproduction is NOT
represented as an official version of the materials reproduced,
nor as having been made in affiliation with,
or with the endorsement of the National Archives of Canada.
The source of this material is the National Archives of Canada
D. Boersema- "Annie Heal
was the First Post Mistress in Aldermere,
in part of that log building, which was also the General Store."
now she isn't listed in the Canada Archives list above, so not
sure if she was
the first person or maybe first Lady to do it,
She might have worked for Campbell or Ouellet, a mystery still?
Robert F. Campbell
an A. E. Campbell was 5th Postmaster at Telkwa, ca 1915, relative?
James A. Ouellet
These first 2 guys are hard to track down,
related?, any info or clues would be appreciated
Lemuel "Lem" Broughton
b- Oct 18, 1867, Bradford Reg Dist., West Riding of Yorkshire,
d- Sept 10, 1937, in Sacramento, CA, age 68
son of James Illingworth Broughton and Catherine Curtis Senior.
parents married Oct-Dec 1865, Holbeck Reg Dist, West Riding of
Lemuel "Lem" Broughton, the other partner in Broughton & McNeil
Lem ran cattle and sheep from down south, on the telegraph trail,
bringing them to McNeil's ranch.
This provided fresh meat at their hotel and store.
Lem Broughton was a Mormon
He had a brother- James A. Broughton
Mother, Brother James, and Lem, came to New York Aug 6, 1868 on SS
left Liverpool June 24, 1868. They left Leeds England.
married Mrs. Sarah "Myrtle" Hutson, nee Story, July 14, 1913,
at the Windsor Hotel, in Prince Rupert BC
she was from Los Angeles, CA. at the time.
b- Ottawa Kansas, age 30 in 1913, a widow
daughter of Thomas Story and Meloina Fanning
John Joseph McNeil
b- in USA, age 46 in 1921
Immigrated in 1898
His ranch was a few miles from Aldermere
John Joseph McNeil was one of the partners in Broughton & McNeil
He bought out Broughton in 1913, but kept the firms name.
was the business man and the driving force in the business. He was
involved in businesses in Telkwa, waterworks, Telkwa Barbecue,
coal mines, tie camps etc. His library had books on all those
and McNeil which now meant McNeil only, built a new store and a home
in Telkwa in 1915."
"I think that Lem Broughten owned the farm first as it was near his
telegraph cabin, at least walking distance for those days. He sold
the farm and his interest in the business to McNeil after he moved
to the States. Local books do not mention that he was a Mormon, but
it is possible"
A. R. McDonald was the delegate chosen
to approach the Post Office Inspector
to get a mail route from Aldermere to Francois Lake.
News Clippings below from Doug Boersema:
1913 Interior News --
July 19-- Lem Broughton one of the
pioneers of the Bulkley Valley and a partner in the leading firm of
Broughton and McNeil, was quietly married on Monday to Mrs. Sarah
Myrtle Hutson of Los Angeles
Aug. 23, 1913 - Presentation to Mr. and
On Wednesday evening the staff of Messrs. Broughton and
McNeil, Aldermere, met together in the dining room of the hotel to
do honour to Mr. and Mrs. Broughton on the occasion of their recent
marriage. On behalf of the staff, Mr. J. L. Christie, J. P., who
has recently been appointed to represent Mr. Broughton’s interest in
the firm, in making the presentation, which consisted of a cabinet
of cutlery with suitable inscription, referred to the kindly feeling
which exists between the firm and their employees whilst conveying
the good wishes for a long, happy, and prosperous married life. Mr.
Broughton, in a few well chosen words, assured the boys of the
unexpected pleasure it gave Mrs. Broughton and himself in meeting
them and accepting this gift which would be considered a life long
treasure, reminding them in year to come of the happy cordial
relations that have always existed in Aldermere.
A review for Fergus
Tomlin, manager of the Smithers museum at that time. By Doug B.
Re; a discussion of
the printing machine owned by the BV Museum
Coyle came to
Hazelton in 1907 where met John Dorsey and was persuaded to come to
come to Aldermere and put together the machine that John had with
him, owned by the North Coast Land Co. - value $450
Dorsey promised a
lease or sale but after a long delay only one paper was
printed. (according to a researcher for Saywell) The Army press was
put together in the future butcher shop in Telkwa. The furniture and
type racks were built by Oscar Benedict. The press had to be inked
by hand and cranked by hand.
Coyle went to
Vancouver to get a better deal. They sanctioned a deal/lease till
July 1908. Meanwhile they had sent another press to Port Simpson
and continued their paper using the name North Coast News. They
needed a paper to make all mining claims, timber notices and land
Coyle did continue
publishing the Bulkley Pioneer as manager till June the 6th 1908
when he came out with The Bulkley Pioneer with himself as owner
publisher. Note the capital 'T' on The. On June the 13 he wrote,
"the time for installing the new presses has set us back a bit-"
Only a few issues of this paper were published. There seemed to be
Vancouver, Coyle had ordered another press to be shipped to
Hazelton in the Spring.
Vol. 1 no. 13 of the
Omenica Herald appeared in Oct.3, 1908 (count back weekly for its
Coyle left the
partnership in 1909 to move to his ranch near Aldermere/Telkwa and
started the Interior News.(printed for six months on the ranch and
then moved to a building in Aldermere. Another press? The first
issue of the Interior News was published Jan,1, 1910 with a note
from the publisher that it was meant to replace The Bulkley Pioneer.
The paper was moved
again, to Smithers in 1913. There were announcements of new presses
while in Smithers.
from the Interior News
Jan. 1, 1910-- The Interior News- Joseph L.
Coyle, Publisher and Proprietor, issued weekly. Aldermere.
With the dawning of this glad New Year we are afforded the greatest
pleasure in resuming the pleasing task of supplying the people of
this Northern Interior with a home newspaper. The first number of
the INTERIOR NEWS greets you; and to one and all extends its
heartiest wishes for a bright and prosperous New Year.
This paper is designed to take the place of our former publication,
The Bulkley Pioneer. The establishment of which on Aug. 3, 1907
marks the beginning of journalism in the Northern Interior. For to
Bulkley Valley belongs the distinction of having the first newspaper
and printing office west of Edmonton on the line of the G.T.P.---
Interior News May 21, 1910
Take Notice that Winnifred Coyle, of Aldermere
B.C., housewife, intends to apply for permission to purchase the
following decribed lands; Commencing at a post planted near 11 mile
post on the Bulkley Valley wagon road, thence east 60 chains, thence
south 40 chains, west 60 chains, north 40 chains to point of
commencement and containing 240 acres more of less. WINNIFRED COYLE
February 24, 1910 (She was the wife of the
editor, Joseph Coyle)
Interior News 1910
Jos. Murphy has just finished the cutting of a
large quantity of fence timber, which will be used in fencing a
considerable portion of Edward Murphy’s farm about two miles down
the river from town.
George Ayliffe— Not much is mentioned about him
I don’t think that he was transferred to Bulkley Ranch cabin as it
was closed in 1914.
Note- Mr Boersema of the Telkwa Museum,
was kind enough to send in the corrections/additions,
as shown above. I do appreciate the feedback.
As in my disclaimer below, I know I have errors,
Old newspapers can, and have been wrong.
Hopefully I now have the information as correct as possible
on this page at least.
In some cases I left what I had found, if relevant to the story.
Narcisse Belleau Gauvreau
b- Mar 27, 1856 in death cert and on headstone
(Mar 7, 1855 in book source below)
in the Parish of Isle Verte,
county of Temiscouata, Quebec, Canada
d- Dec 29, 1933 in North Vancouver BC, age 77
buried in North Vancouver Cemetery, N. Vancouver BC
In 1892 he lead a surveying party to NW BC.
Shown as a Civil Engineer when he died.
attended Rimouski College in Quebec
He was a CPR surveyor prior to working in BC
father- Louis Narcisse Gauvreau
mother- Gracieuse nee ?
married Jessie Marion Gauvreau, nee Morice
b- Apr 23, 1862
d- Jan 19, 1939
buried in North Vancouver Cemetery
see Ext link below for Narcisse's bio and photo
I am an Amateur Historian, and Genealogist.
I use every source I can find, old newspapers, census, archives,
I do a quick search for the names on these pages.
Therefore I do NOT profess to have 100% accurate information.
Use my info as a clue to do your own research.
I am not related to these folks, nor do I have hidden info.
I encourage everyone to visit their local Museum,
or buy a local history book for more info.
I attempt to connect people with their ancestor in these places.
If it works on just one person, per page, it is worth the time it
I do not charge for access to my pages,
I do not have any Ads on my pages.
Please "link" to my
page from Facebook, etc.
Please do Not copy the pictures, or text on any page.
Please do Not ask to use pictures etc. on Facebook.
A "link" to my pages, does the same thing.
Just copy the hyper link, URL, shown in your browser above,
and paste that into facebook etc.,
or copy the links I have on the left side.
That is the honest and descent way to to do it!
Note- NOT my sites
CNR map, showing Hubert etc.
Rubber Boots for Dancing and other Memories
of Pioneer Life in the Bulkley Valley,
by Nan Bourgon
and edited by Marjorie Rosberg. Smithers, B.C.
Tona and Janet Hetherington, 1979. Pp. 138
Egg carton patent drawing
Various BC Archives photo links
1914- Leaving Aldermere on a Sunday jaunt;
Mr. and Mrs. E. Hoops in the backseat,
B. Hoops and Miss E. Hoops in the front.- B-01715
1909- General Store, A-08388
1913- The Aldermere Board of Trade outside
General Store, A-08426
1912- Settlers arriving in Aldermere by
1912- Construction team hauling a
1912, GTPR Pack train- B-01750 leaving
1912- the homestead, aldermere ranch,
bio and photo