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Images of Stewart, British Columbia


A Guide to Stewart, BC

Highway 37 (Stewart-Cassiar) Photo Album

Click on each photo to greatly enlarge it.
These photographs are all © 2002 by Murray Lundberg,
and are not to be copied without express permission
.

BC Highway 37A to Stewart leaves the main highway at Km 155, and wanders alongside Meziadin Lake for a few miles before heading into the heart of the Coastal Mountains. This view is from a logging road, taken on June 30, 1991.

The Meziadin Lake highway maintenance camp - April 22, 2008.

Stewart, British Columbia Industrial traffic, primarily logging and mining, used to be common on the Stewart Road, but now (2002), these are about the only trucks you'll see. They're hauling gold ore from Barrick Gold's Eskay Creek mine (closed in 2008), about 50 air miles north of Stewart. From Stewart, the ore goes to a smelter in Japan. This view is to the north from Bear Pass, on September 19, 2002.

The first view of the Bear Glacier and Strohn Lake as you're southbound towards Stewart - April 22, 2008.

Bear Glacier - Stewart, British Columbia

Bear Glacier - Stewart, British Columbia

Bear Glacier as seen from the edge of the road on September 15, 2002. The glacier used to fill the whole valley, but in the 1940s it began to retreat rapidly. Strohn Lake formed in the basin left behind, dammed by the remaining ice. The lake would ocassionally break through the glacial dam, causing catastrophic flooding downstream. This is known as a jökulhlaup, the Icelandic term for the event - between 1958 and 1962, there were five jökulhlaups here, and the damage can still be seen right to Stewart. By 1967, the glacier had retreated far enough that the lake was no longer dammed.
The cabin in the climax of the 2002 movie Insomnia was built on the shore of Strohn Lake.

The Bear Glacier seen at sunrise (06:32 am) on April 23, 2008. Note how far the glacier has retreated in only 6 years.

Stewart, British Columbia Heading south from Bear Pass in typical Stewart-area weather, on September 15, 2002. The area above the road to the right with much smaller trees shows how far the glacier extended just 60 years ago!

Heading north out of Stewart, towards Bear Pass, in August 1975, when I was living in Stewart and working underground at the huge Granduc Copper Mine. This was a nasty road in wet weather, but it's all paved now.
High on the slope directly ahead is the location of the original road - it had to be way up there to get around the glacier.

Stewart, British Columbia Welcome to Stewart. September 15, 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia The Stewart Museum is jammed full of artifacts and photos. Be prepared to spend some time.
Note that photography inside the museum is not allowed - "no flash photography" makes sense in terms of preserving the items, but "no photography at all" is just ignorant. September 14, 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia Downtown Stewart.

Stewart, British Columbia The Ripley Creek Inn in downtown Stewart is a charming place, with a great parlour overlooking the harbour, and furniture handmade from timbers taken from old mine buildings. September 15, 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia When the Granduc Mine was being developed, the community of Stewart was greatly enlarged to house the employees with families (most of the single men lived at camp). Much of what was known as "the Granduc Subdivision" is now abandoned and overgrown.

Stewart, British Columbia The log dumps used to be a very busy place, but all was quiet in September 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia Looking down Portland Canal towards the docks and Hyder, Alaska.

The panorama below (made from 2 photos stitched together)
is the view across Portland Canal from the industrial docks
between Stewart and Hyder. September 14, 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia

The historic stone storehouse at Hyder, Alaska From a plaque on the building:
"Army Engineer Storehouse No. Four
This storehouse, Alaska's first masonry building, was built in 1896 under the direction of Captain David D. Gaillard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In August 1896, Captain Gaillard was ordered to investigate Portland Canal, the waterway marking the Alaska-Canada boundary. He was also to build four storehouses, in Alaska, along the Canal's west bank. The lighthouse tender Manzanita was assigned to the mission. Loaded with coal, supplies, equipment,a nd materials (including cement, lumber, nails, and shingles for the storehouses), she left Seattle August 29, reaching the head of the Channel four days later. Workmen and supplies were unloaded here at Eagle Point, and, as the tender returned down the Channel, at three other locations. This building, Storehouse Number 4, was completed September 21, 1896. Storehouse Number 3, at Halibut Bay, was completed five days later. Storehouses 2 and 1, on Pearse and Wales Islands, were finished September 28. As the result of the decision of a 1903 Boundary Tribunal, the Alaska-Canada border was re-established north of Pearse and Wales Islands, and thereafter Storehouses 1 and 2 have been on Canadian soil. Gaillard subsequently served on the US-Mexico International Boundary Commission, in the Spanish-American War in Cuba as a colonel of engineers, and with the Isthmian (Panama) Canal Commission. His contributions to the construction of the Panama Canal where it crosses the Continental Divide at Culebra were recognized by the naming of that most difficult cut in his honor - Gaillard Cut. He died in Baltimore December 5, 1913, at the age of 54, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery."

Entering Hyder, Alaska Entering Hyder on September 14, 2002.

Hyder, Alaska In its early years, Hyder was built almost entirely out over the water, on these pilings. The US-Canada border slash can be seen on the hillside, so the town was obviously built over Canadian water!

Stewart, British Columbia The new (2001) million-dollar bear viewing platform at Fish Creek. This is the only official bear-viewing location in Alaska that is accessible by road. The platform is the Forest Service's answer to what had often been described as "a tragedy waiting to happen" due to the large numbers of bears and humans here, particularly in late July and early August. There were no bears here on September 14, 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia Dead and dying salmon can be seen in the crystal-clear water. The chimney is from one of the hundreds of mines that have operated in this area over the past century or so.

Stewart, British Columbia A pond along the lower Salmon River Road. The country is so vast that photography can be a challenge, figuring out how to get it all in. This image is 2 vertical shots with a 32-mm lens, stitched together.

Stewart, British Columbia Back in July 1975, when this photo was taken along the lower Salmon River Road, there were important mining artifacts laying everywhere. They appear to all be in private collections now, in Stewart, Hyder and elsewhere. Ah, the things that Denny and I saw - without exception, all of the best places are now history...

Stewart, British Columbia Mine ruins along the lower Salmon River Road in September 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia This dam at the west end of Long Lake was built in about 1938 to provide water for a powerhouse at the Big Missouri Mine. In July 1975, this location was accessed by a road that was barely passable even by 4x4. The deteriorating dam was blown out in about 1988, using experimental directional explosives so the surrounding area wasn't damaged.

Stewart, British Columbia Looking over the ruins of the Big Missouri mine manager's house, the powerhouse can be seen on the far side of Hog Lake in this photo from July 1975. In about 2000, the powerhouse was dismantled, with the timbers from the roof being used to build furniture for the Ripley Creek Inn in Stewart.

Stewart, British Columbia The Premier Gold Mine, under several owners, produced steadily from 1918 until 1953, then sporadically for another few years. It was extremely profitable for most of its life, paying out about 22 million dollars in dividends. In 1975, the huge seven-storey main bunkhouse was still stable enough to wander through.

Stewart, British Columbia In 1975, there were still documents of all kinds strewn around the Premier Gold Mine office, though the roof had been collapsed by heavy snow, with the steel beams bent like they were made of tin.

The panorama below looks across the tailings-filled valley to the slope where the Premier Gold Mine used to be. September 14, 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia

Stewart, British Columbia Although the road can be rough after a wet spell, the drive to the Salmon Glacier is a must for Stewart visitors. For those who prefer not to drive a narrow mountain road like this, tours are available in Stewart.

Stewart, British Columbia Looking down the Salmon River valley.

Stewart, British Columbia Fogged in? No problem, just get out your picnic lunch and wait for the Mountain King to clear the skies for you. While you're dining, though, be sure to keep your senses in tune - this is GRIZZLY country, and they love picnics almost as much as ants do!

Stewart, British Columbia If you ever start feeling that you're a Very Important Person, come up and stand here for a couple of minutes. I'm quite certain that this view of the Salmon Glacier will put things back into perspective.

Stewart, British Columbia This log cabin overlooking the Salmon Glacier housed miners for about a decade from 1910, and was sided with corrugated metal sheets so it could be used again in the 1960s. It's in very poor condition now. Just to the right, John Carpenter's movie The Thing (set in Antarctica) was filmed over the winter of 1981-1982.

Below - past the Salmon Glacier is the abandoned road to the site of the Granduc mine - this is the road that I took to work every day in 1975. When the mine was operating, the tunnel was only used when avalanches closed the road around it - the driver would pull up to the tunnel and pull a cord which opened heavy steel doors. September 14, 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia

Below - it's difficult to believe now that on this site was a mine that cost $115,000,000 to develop, and a camp that housed over 500 people. On September 14, 2002, there wasn't much left - the mountains and the Berendon Glacier dominate the scene again.

Stewart, British Columbia

Below - the ruins of the Granduc mill as it looked on September 14, 2002. In the center of the photo sits a Chevy SUV for scale. To the right of it is a brown door - that is the entrance to a railway that ran 15 miles underground to the working area.

Stewart, British Columbia

Below - to the left of the Berendon Glacier can be seen the Granduc mill foundation. The railway to the workings ran straight through the mountain that dominates this scene. September 14, 2002.

Stewart, British Columbia

Stewart, British Columbia The end of the road - Cathy and I at the Berendon Glacier.

Aerial photo of Kitsault, British Columbia, in 1985 Mining artifacts, and even abandoned towns are scattered throughout the backcountry in this region. This is Kitsault in 1985 - located near the head of Alice Arm, it was built in the early 1970s to house 1,000 or so people, for a molybdenum mine. After less than two years the mine shut down, but the vacant town remains. Further down Alice Arm is the abandoned town of Anyox.