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b- Apr 7, 1883 in Hjarsas,
d- July 29, 1963, at 4626 Davis Ave, Terrace BC
buried in Kitsumgallum Cemetery, Terrace BC
Founder of Kleanza "aka: Gold" Creek Provincial Park
Fun at Joel Turlson's, stilts made by Joel.
Opening the New Gold Creek Bridge, 1919
folks from Usk celebrating the opening.
Both photos courtesy the McRae Collection
Info below written by Kathleen Varner, nee
who taught school in Usk in the early years per her son:
Born in Hjarsas, Sweden - April 4, l883
Joel came to Canada at an early
age. When World War I broke out he jointed the Engineers Corp. and
went overseas. He became badly injured, when, with his body, he
held up a collapsing structure. Two comrades managed to get safely
from under but it left him partially disabled.
After the war he returned to
Canada and took up land under the Soldiers Settlement Board at Lily
Lake, B.C. - near Vanderhoof. There he and another bachelor
cleared a homestead. Later Joel was disappointed in a love affair
and left the homestead to his rival and came to Usk.
He worked in a couple mining
projects around Usk in the late twenties and early thirties and then
started placer mining on Gold Creek (now Kleanza Creek) above the
canyon. Here he found small amounts of gold, enough to keep him
along with his small disability pension.
Around the time World War II
broke out, he found working in the cold water was taking its toll
and he moved down to a little log cabin just at the foot of the
canyon. This cabin had been deserted by earlier gold panners. There
he did a little placer mining digging in the mossy crevices with a
wire hook instead of standing the creek.
Once in a while during the summer
a family or two would come from Usk for a picnic. Joel began
clearing a bit of space and rigged up a table and benches. Soon
more people began to visit. He made boats, stilts and things for
the children - even bows and arrows which he finally had to
It wasn't long before campers,
from here, there and everywhere, were visiting, many from the
states. He received many letters and cards from these visitors and
friends. As more people came he cleared a larger area and fixed up
more picnic tables and benches.
When the Provincial Government
took over the park in the fifties, a lot of the area along the
creek and the trail up over the cliff had been cleared by Joel. It
was suggested at that time the park be called "Trulson Park" but
Joel would not have it.
Joel was very shy, but honest
and independent. He felt that in making Gold Creek a beautiful spot
- a place for people to enjoy, he was, in some small measure,
repaying the pension that he had received from the Government.
From the results of his war
injury and arthritis, he could no longer stay out in the damp
atmosphere of Gold Creek, so he moved into a cabin in Usk. He
passed away July 30, l963. Joel, known as Joe to his many friends,
is buried in the Terrace Cemetery as "Founder of Trulson Park".
Items I have
b- Apr 17, 1883 in Christinstadt,
Sweden per attestation paper
living in Fort Fraser BC, when he enlisted in WWI July 28, 1916 in
next of kin, brother?- O. T. Rosen, living in Cokato, Wright Co., MN, USA
1910 shows up in the Valdez District of Alaska
shown immigrating in 1900.
It appears he came to Ketchikan on SS Humboldt, June 29, 1909
Shows him age 28 on this ship.
Mar 1926 him and Gus Nyberg
were doing assessment work
on the Reid Property on Kleanza Creek.
July 1926, Joe and Gus were involved in a
Tom Boy- Poorman Group in the Silver Basin.
1935 voters list shows him in Tlell, Skeena
district, as a Miner
1940 he is in
Usk as a
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