Telkwa Historic Walking Tour

A Walking Tour of Historic Telkwa

1. Second Telkwa Elementary School – 1920. This building was constructed on the site of the present school. In 1922, forty students enrolled in grades one through eight. Outdoor toilets were used and the school was heated by a potbelly stove. Mr. J. Clotworthy was both the teacher and the principal from 1926 until 1949 when this building was closed and the present school opened. This structure was then used as a classroom for mentally handicapped students from1965 to 1984. On August 26, 1987, the building was moved to its present location, next to the post office, to be used as a Museum.
Second Telkwa Elementary School

2. St. Stephen’s Anglican Church – 1910. Reverend Stephenson, the first medical missionary in this area, was associated with this church. Stephenson regularly walked 125 miles (as far as Francois Lake) to visit all the people in the ministry. The church was built with donated lumber from Telkwa’s first sawmill. The lich gate, where a coffin is placed during the initial part of the burial service, and the bell tower were built in 1921. Initial construction costs were $765.00.
St. Stephen's Anglican Church

3. Telkwa Nursing Home – 1924. This was the second nursing home built in the area. Construction and operation were paid for entirely by donation. One nurse cared for the patients, prepared the meals and maintained the building. In 1933 the home closed and became a private residence.
Telkwa Nursing Home

4. Fairbairn’s House – 1917. Andy Fairbairn was a provincial policeman and the first law enforcement officer in the area. Recently married when they arrived in 1915, Andy and his wife moved into living quarters in the police station in Aldermere. In 1916 they lived in the Higgin house, the Telkwa police station. Deciding the police stations were not suitable for a growing family, the new house was built.
Fairbairn's House

5. House built by Hunsberger – circa 1920. The Noonan family lived in the house from 1933 to 1984. In 1922, Bill Noonan arrived as the first Telkwa ticket agent for the CNR.

6. Log House, built by Jack Price – circa 1920. In 1951 Nan Tomkins bought the house and raised twenty two foster children there. Burned 1994.

7. Sargent’s General Store – 1910. It’s said to have been the original pioneer store. A lean-to attached to the back of the store housed the post office from 1910to 1953. In 1951 the store changed hands and until 1983 it housed Philips’ & Shepherd’s store before McNeil’s store in 1914.

8. Jack McNeil’s House – circa 1918. Jack McNeil came to Aldermere in 1905 and set up business with his partner Lem Broughton. When the town of Aldermere started to die, Jack set up his private business in Telkwa and built himself a new, very comfortable home with a large fireplace. Jack often invited favored traveling salesmen in to enjoy a drink.

9. Broughton and McNeil’s General merchants and Lumber Yard – 1915. When Jack McNeil moved from Aldermere he bought his partners share of the business, but kept the original name. This was one of the first businesses in the North.

10. F.L. Charlson’s General Store – circa 1914. Now a private residence and before that a butcher shop, the building began as one of the early general stores. Burned 1992.

11. Mason Adam’s Drug Store – 1915. Originally, this building was closer to the present pub; it was moved in the early 30’s to its present location. The building has had many changes over the years; a second story has been added and the front has been renovated, but the original door still hangs. This building was used by the Royal Bank from 1951 to 1982.

12. Bulkley River Bridge. The first bridge in this location was started in 1907. (The present bridge is probably the second). A cable ferry operated in 1907, prior to the building of the bridge.

13. Telkwa River Bridge Piers – circa 1937. A longer curved wooden bridge existed upstream until a section of it was washed out during a flood. A new bridge was then constructed on concrete piers but again was washed out on the Tatlow side during a flood. Another new bridge was then built more than a mile upstream. Today there are no existing bridges that cross the Telkwa River.

14. Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad Bridge – 1913. The original wooden bridge on wooden piers was built circa 1913. It was later replaced by this steel bridge.

15. Hong Chong’s Laundry and Bath House – circa 1920. People could bath here for 25 cents. Hong Chong loved children and let them change their skates at his place.

16. Interior Creamery – 1939. It was originally built in 1939 by Alfred Miller as a subsidiary of the Prince George Creamery. Thor Paulson was the manager at the time and during its second phase became the owner. In 1947 the name was changed to the Bulkley Valley Creamery. At the height of production there were 235 shippers of cream from the Lakes District to Hazelton. Butter was shipped by rail east to Vanderhoof and west to Prince Rupert. The creamery closed in May of 1969 and is now a private residence and fishing lodge. Today you can find Thor’s original churn on display at the Telkwa museum.

17. Telkwa Reading Room – 1919. Reverend Stephenson started the first library in Aldermere with books on loan through the Victoria traveling library. Ten years later, acting on a suggestion and a donation of books from Victoria, the Telkwa Reading Room was founded.

18. The First Union Bank – 1912. Originally the building was located by the river, approximately where the present fire hall stands. In circa 1915 the bank closed and the building became the first schoolhouse in Telkwa. Paying $7 a month rent (later reduced to $6) the Telkwa Assisted School used the structure until 1918. In 1919 the building was moved because of the rising Bulkley River. It became the home of Mrs. C.A. Chapman, a pioneer school teacher.

19. Log House – circa 1908. The E. Hoops family lived in this house from approximately 1915 to 1948. Most of the town’s business was done by the firm of Thorp and Hoops, including payment for cemetery plots, and the booking and payment for the use of the town hall. They also handled real estate, insurance and the business affairs of the school.

20. Log House – circa 1908. The Timmermeister family lived in this house from about 1915 to 1948. This house and the Hoops residence are among the oldest buildings in Telkwa.

21. Wm. Hunter’s House – 1910. Hunter’s Basin, a valley high in the Telkwa Mountains, was named after the prospector who built and lived in this house. In 1903, he was one of the first of many prospectors to arrive in the district.

22. Log House – 1922. Built by J.H. Mead.

23. Dr. Wallace’s Dispensary – circa 1915. This house was moved from the river bank to its present location in 1921 by H.H. Philips.

24. United Church – 1920. This church had many uses. Dutch immigrants arrived about 1952 and rented the building until they could build their own church. When Telkwa had a housing shortage, a family lived in the back of the church. It was also used for a grade school and a high school.

25. Catholic Church – 1920. The original building was erected in 1910. The church now located on this site was built during the 1940’s.

26. McDonald House – 1920. Tom and Sue McDonald were in their middle ages when they arrived in Telkwa. They were accompanied by their nine children, two
sons-in-law, a daughter-in-law and five grandchildren.

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