Bend, British Columbia

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Bend, British Columbia
Railway Point
Bend, British Columbia is located in British Columbia
Bend, British Columbia
Location of Bend in British Columbia
Coordinates: 53°46′00″N 121°04′00″W / 53.76667°N 121.06667°W / 53.76667; -121.06667Coordinates: 53°46′00″N 121°04′00″W / 53.76667°N 121.06667°W / 53.76667; -121.06667
Country Canada
Province British Columbia
Region Robson Valley
Land district Cariboo Land District
Regional District Fraser-Fort George

Bend is the remnants of a community located between Penny and Dome Creek in central British Columbia, which comprises several scattered houses stretching along the north side of the Fraser River. The area was named after the 90 degree curve on the railway tracks, a mile northwest of the railway bridge.[1]

Transportation[edit]

It is a flag stop for Via Rail's Jasper – Prince Rupert train.[2]

History[edit]

Bend, like Guilford to its northwest, and Kidd to its southeast, was an original train station (1914) on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (the Canadian National Railway after nationalization). The station was about 2 miles from Dome Creek. A post office existed from 1 May 1930 to 15 October 1942. The community hall, opened in 1941, hosted various functions,[3] but the school was again used after the fire.[4]

The school, located near the train station, opened in 1925, with Miss Alfreda Larsen as the inaugural teacher.[5] Becoming part of the former McBride School District in 1945, it closed the following year, having 11 students in grades 1-8. Thereafter, students attended the Dome Creek School. A scheduled reopening for 1948 did not transpire, because no suitable teachers were available.[6] School District 57 did not initiate the disposal of the surplus school site at Bend until 1984.[7] Schoolchildren would cross the Fraser on the ice in winter and by boat in summer. During spring, the hazardous railway bridge provided the only crossing.[8]

In his role as rector of All Saints Anglican, McBride, Rev. J.J. Cowan sometimes held evening services in the Bend schoolhouse.[9]

Arriving in 1913, James B. Hooker was a pioneer farmer[10] at Bend.[11] He became a well-known hunter and guide,[12] catering to American parties.[13] In 1934, his 12-year-old son, Allen, saved a boy from drowning in the river.[14] Two years later, Edward, an older son, drowned.[15] Clifford, a younger son died from an industrial accident.[16] In 1940, James accompanied a constable in a futile search of 130 miles of the Fraser River bars and banks for a missing logger, who was presumed drowned.[17] When the Rotary barrel was floated the 145 miles from Dome Creek/Bend to Prince George in 1943, 1944 and 1945, James was the official monitor for half of the journey.[18] On James’ death in 1955, at 71, Glen and Lawrence were recorded as his only two surviving sons.[19] However, son, Kenneth,[20] was alive,[21] and had a career as a guide-outfitter.[22]

In 1931, while searching with her husband for stray horses on the tracks at the rail bridge, Mrs. P.J. Strand was struck and killed by a train.[23]

The York Lumber Co. commenced operations in the 1923/24 winter.[24] Auctioned at a receiver’s sale of the mill,[25] Wallace N. Jaeck offered the highest bid.[26] With his son, C. Earl Jaeck, he opened an enlarged mill in August, 1928.[27] In 1934, John F. McMillan purchased a controlling interest in the company.[28] A Board of Trade delegation included this 45,000-feet-per-shift capacity mill (C.E. Jaeck the then manager) on their 1937 tour.[29]

In 1942, when R.R. McGillivray was the manager and C.E. Jaeck the president, a 60 mph wind swept through the area. Toppled trees fell on telephone wires, cutting off communication with the outside. The gale dispersed embers from the mill burner into the mill building and across the settlement, razing the sawmill, finished lumber, the village, and a number of railway freight cars on the siding. Only the cookhouse, a small dwelling and some shacks remained. It also created spot fires in Dome Creek across the Fraser. Most of the men were away fighting forest fires. Relief supplies for the 200 victims, who had lost everything, were dispatched from McBride,[30] garnering praise for the Red Cross and Salvation Army.[31] Mopping up operations continued at the sawmill for several months.[32] The mill not rebuilt, only the farming community and those working in Dome Creek remained.



Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Prince George Citizen, 20 Feb 2013
  2. ^ "Bend train station". VIA Rail. 
  3. ^ Prince George Citizen: 23 Oct 1941, 6 Nov 1941 & 25 Dec 1941
  4. ^ Prince George Citizen, 14 Dec 1944
  5. ^ Prince George Citizen, 20 Feb 2013
  6. ^ Prince George Citizen, 20 Feb 2013
  7. ^ Prince George Citizen, 26 Sep 1984
  8. ^ Prince George Citizen, 19 Feb 1987
  9. ^ Prince George Citizen: 30 Oct 1941 & 27 Nov 1941
  10. ^ Prince George Citizen, 9 Jun 1955
  11. ^ Prince George Citizen: 26 Aug 1937, 1 Jun 1939, 1 Aug 1940, 7 Nov 1940, 24 Apr 1941, 19, 26 Oct 1944, 15 Mar 1945 & 5 Apr 1945
  12. ^ Prince George Citizen: 9 Jun 1938 & 27 May 1943
  13. ^ Prince George Citizen: 12 May 1938, 16 Mar 1939 & 7 Nov 1946
  14. ^ Prince George Citizen, 30 Aug 1934
  15. ^ Prince George Citizen, 13 May 1937
  16. ^ Prince George Citizen: 8, 15, 22 May 1947
  17. ^ Prince George Citizen, 2 May 1940
  18. ^ Prince George Citizen: 8 Jul 1943, 6 Jul 1944 & 12 Jul 1945
  19. ^ Prince George Citizen, 9 Jun 1955
  20. ^ Prince George Citizen, 29 Jun 1944
  21. ^ Prince George Citizen, 28 Jan 1959
  22. ^ Prince George Citizen: 29 Nov 1982 & 30 Aug 1983
  23. ^ Prince George Citizen: 13 & 27 Aug 1931
  24. ^ Prince George Citizen: 22 Nov 1923 & 24 Jan 1924
  25. ^ Prince George Citizen: 7 & 14 May 1925
  26. ^ Prince George Citizen, 28 May 1925
  27. ^ Prince George Citizen, 23 Aug 1928
  28. ^ Prince George Citizen, 10 May 1934
  29. ^ Prince George Citizen, 26 Aug 1937
  30. ^ Prince George Citizen, 9 Jul 1942
  31. ^ Prince George Citizen, 16 Jul 1942
  32. ^ Prince George Citizen, 18 Feb 1943


References[edit]