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Usk BC Reaction Ferry

 

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Joel "Joe" Trulson
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Grand Trunk Pacific History
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Vancouver Island
Logging Archive Pictures
________________

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Commemorative Plaque placed Oct 2013

The Usk Ferry celebrated it's 100th Anniversary in Oct 2013

Photos courtesy McRae Collection, Terrace


Usk Ferrymen

Capt. William Francis Madden
became Ferryman after Sternwheelers quit running

1917- the ferryman was named Erickson
the cable broke, and the scow went downriver
Mr. Erickson lost 2 fingers in the accident.

Milo Cecil Kendall
b- Jan 16, 1873 in Toulon, Stark Co., Illinois, USA
d- ? , bef July 1926, Drowned, but I don't know where, Yet!
He might have drowned in the Goat River area, Cariboo.
son of Zelotous (Zelotas?) Kendall, and Nancy Wolf
Immigrated in 1894
Naturalized in 1900
1901 census shown in Lorne Creek, b- 1850, age 51, occupation- miner
He enlisted in WWI, Feb 12, 1916, in Prince Rupert, Reg #703723
Army, Canadian Infantry, 102nd Batt.
living in Kitselas when he enlisted, shown as a miner, married
married Ida "Elizabeth" Holcomb, Jan 30, 1906, Red Oak Montgomery, Iowa
b- Feb, 1864, in Scott Co. Iowa, USA
d-
daughter of Jededia Loomis Holcomb and Jan McMellen
1911 both living at Kitselas Hotel, in Kitselas
Terrace Area War Memorial
He had Placer leases that his wife sold after he drowned.
Nov 10, 1906 he was in charge of the Toulon mine at Kitselas
and had 7-10 men working all winter on it.
Shows as Toulon Mine Superintendent in 1914 Mining Report.
M. C. Kendall was Ferryman at Usk, in 1920

Carl Joseph Halvar Dorum
but of course in English, Charles J. H. Durham
b- Aug. 21, 1861 in Molde, Norway
d- Sept 13, 1958 at Usk, B.C.

Ferryman ca 1920's. 
1930 Directory shows him Ferryman

See the main Usk Page for more info

James William "Jim" Eckert
b- Apr 1847 (age 74 in 1921 in Usk) in USA
d- Mar 23, 1940, in Sidney BC, age 95
Ferryman ca 1923-1925
Immigrated in 1903
Both parents born in Germany
broke his hip in 1923 while working on the ferry
Nov 1924 he is shown as approaching age 78
married with grandchildren in Usk, ca 1923
1st wife- Lenora Brown
b- 1855, d- 1928
they had 4 children
oldest son- William Anderson Eckert,
b- 1876, age 34 in 1921 in Usk, born in USA
d- 1947
2nd wife- Orinda "May" E. Eckert, nee Ralston,
 b- 1865, d- 1926, age 5? in 1921, born in USA
1916 she is his wife in Red Deer, AB
She is shown as his wife in 1921 census, in Usk
They had 3 children
3rd wife- Elizabeth Rolston

Frederick Albert "Fred" Stewart
b- Dec 15, 1892 in Liverpool England
d- Oct 19, 1934 in Hazelton BC, age 43
reg # 102944
enlisted in Victoria BC, Oct 25, 1915
next of kin Mrs H. C. Bolt, St. Helens CA
1921 census shows him as Frederick Alfred Steward
Ferryman ca 1932
shown in 1934 and 1935 directories as ferryman
- Prospector (Served in WWI)
Immigrated in 1908
wife- Dorothy Theresa Stewart, age 30 in 1921 b- ca 1891, in England
daughter- Dorothy Belinda Stewart, b- ca 1920 in BC

Carle George "Carl" Brechin
b- Oct 3, 1899 in Berwick County, NS
d- Sept 26, 1969 in Prince Rupert General Hospital, age 69
married Mildred Eva Butt,  Nov 18, 1929 in Terrace BC
Carl was Ferryman before Roy Fredrickson
shown in 1939 and 1941 Directories as Ferryman
shown as a Power Company lineman when he died
son of Carleton George Brechin and Cassie Bethwick

Roy F. Fredrickson
b- June 24, 1887, in Helsingland, Sweden
d- Dec 10, 1946, on CN Train on route from Usk to Smithers, age 59

Buried in
Kitsumgallum Cemetery, Terrace BC
Ferryman July 1941- Dec 10, 1946
shown as ferryman in 1945 Directory
He was injured helping to push truck out of a snowbank,
and died from his injuries.
married to Dorothy Stewart
On husband's death, She was paid $255,
3 months salary in 1946.

Benjamin Felix Seymour
b- Sept 2, 1892, in Port Essington, BC
d- Jan 28, 1968 Mills Memorial Hospital, Terrace BC, age 75

buried in
Kitsumgallum Cemetery, Terrace
Native from Kitselas
married to Madoline Seymour, nee ?, when he died
son of David Seymour, and Rebecca

George Edward Wright
b- Nov 1, 1905, Kitsalas Village, BC
d- Dec 11, 1981 Mills Memorial Hospital, Terrace BC
buried in Terrace Municipal Cemetery, Terrace BC
widower when he died
Native from Kitselas
George later took over the Copper River Ferry
son of Walter Wright and Emma
married to Louise Annie Wesley

George Lester Kellogg
b- Mar 20, 1910 North Battleford, SK
d- Nov 13, 1975, Mills Memorial Hospital, Terrace BC, age 65
father- Chester Kellogg,
b- 1878, USA
Rancher in Porkdale, North Battleford, SK in 1921
mother- Usena Abiggle "Maggie" Kellogg, nee Walker,
b- 1878 in ON
Kellogg family Immigrated in 1903 to Canada
George's wife- Myrta Steeg
George's siblings:
Melvin Kellogg, b- 1902 in US
Grace Emily Kellogg, b- Feb 14, 1906 in North Battleford, SK
James Chester Kellogg, b- Dec 14, 1908 in North Battleford, SK
Lawrence Kellogg, b- 1912 in SK
Usena "Alice" Kellogg, ca 1913 in SK
Allan Kellogg, ca 1916 in SK
Ether Kellogg, b- ca 1917 in SK
Edgar Kellogg, b- ca 1921 in SK
1916 family in North Battleford, SK

Gunnar Waldeck
b- Apr 23, 1904 in Sweden
d- Oct 9, 1971 Mills Memorial Hospital, Terrace BC, age 67
buried in Terrace City Cemetery
Trapper, Part time Ferryman, Single
son of Halmer Waldeck

Dan Hamilton
Ferryman for 10 years

If you know of other Ferrymen names please send them in.


Below is a history article
sent to me by Helene McRae on the Usk Ferrymen

Don’t Forget the Ferrymen at Usk 

The Usk ferry recently celebrated a century of service, and while the watercraft was recognized, long-time area residents say it’s the ferryman they will never forget. 

Usk (pronounced like “tusk” – without the “t”) sprang up 16 kilometres east of Terrace after the end of the riverboat era and the completion of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad in the early 1900s. Forestry, minerals and agricultural land drew people to the remote spot and sawmills were opened to serve mining businesses, and construct a public school, hotel and other buildings. Back then, the Skeena River and the railway were the only form of transportation in Northwest BC, and the Usk Ferry took residents from the hamlet, located on the north side of the river, to the south side to log, prospect or do other activities. 

Crossing in Winter 

When the river iced up in winter, the ferryman was still responsible for getting people to the other shore, navigating through ice jams that piled up to six metres high on the banks. To get people across, the ferryman marked a trail, laid down planks with scaffolding, or used a small shallow boat, at times transferring travelers from one section of ice to the other using the skiff.  

“I don't know how we survived,” recalls early Usk Resident, Helene McRae, nee Adams. “When the ferry was not in operation, either a small boat was used or one would have to walk across the river on the ice. Using the boat, the ferryman had to dodge debris and ice floes, and when we walked on the ice, sometimes there were patches of water with a board across the opening. The operator set up and maintained this system, often during cold, dark and snowing conditions, and many can assure you, with howling winds along the river.” 

Helene’s father, DIck Adams, owned a Sawmill on the south side of the river, which ran from the 1940's until 1960, and most of the crew regularly made the crossing for work. One extra cold day, Helene and the crew started home by boat, and the thick ice floes began to back up, from a blockage further downstream in Kitselas Canyon. 

 “Luckily we were able to turn back or we would have been caught in the moving ice. For three years, I crossed the Skeena for work – lots of scary times.” 

Those scary times included when the backed up ice at the Kitselas Canyon unclogged and the ice at Usk might suddenly evacuate downstream. “One day, I was to cross at 2 p.m., and for some reason I was a bit late finishing up at the office. I looked out the window and the whole river had opened up! George Kellogg, The Ferryman, was frantic and was calling across the river to see if I had started across.” 

Coming of the Cable Car  ??????

NOTE: 

Not sure when this was put in operation- D.O.H. put in new towers etc. 
Shortly after that, an overhead passenger cable car was installed for when the crossing was hazardous due to ice or water levels.  Late 60’S, 70’S??????? 

When Highway 16 was built in the early 1960s on the south side of the swift Skeena, it improved mobility, and people and businesses established themselves there. 

Over time, between two major floods and the draw of opportunities elsewhere, the original hamlet of Usk (on the north side of the Skeena River) dwindled to about 30 people. The provincial government has been operating the ferry since the 1920s, and today the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure provides the service through a contractor, Nechako Northcoast Construction. The free five-to-seven-minute crossing uses the power of the Skeena River, and an overhead cable suspended by towers, to traverse the waterway. The on-demand ferry operates from 6:15 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. – just ring the bell on the south side and the ferryman will get you across.  

Dan Hamilton, an Usk ferryman for 10 years whose father was also a ferryman, says that even in the old days of walking or paddling over the ice-choked river, the ferrymen never lost anyone. “Now you wouldn’t even consider doing something like that, but it was commonplace then,” he says. 

“The skill and hard work of those people over the past hundred years deserve a mark of appreciation and recognition,” says Helene. Here’s to all the ferrymen – past and present!


Photos below taken Apr 27, 2014
by my daughter Amber Gent

See my main Usk Page

and NW BC Logger's Memorial, Usk

Return to my BC History Index Page

Disclaimer

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Ext Links
Note- not my pages

Gov't Ferry Schedule
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/marine/ferry_schedules.htm

Ferry Story- Nov 2013
http://tranbc.ca/2013/11/07/saluting-a-century-of-usks-skeena-river-ferrymen/

 

 

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