Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1913
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1913
Throughout the years the railway was being built, the Grand Trunk Pacific company had banned liquor from certain parts of the region. The B.C. government obliged by declaring the construction areas ┐dry zones┐ and empowered the BC Provincial Police to enforce this directive. During the first months of 1913, police seized 858 quarts of liquor, 41 pints and 46 gallons in bulk storage. In that same period, they estimated that 450 gallons of liquor made it through to the camps. Shipments sometimes were labelled as ┐vinegar┐ and sent up the river by scow. .

An Act of the provincial Legislature created Mount Robson Park. The idea for the park was championed by the Honourable W. R. Ross, Minister of Lands in the Conservative government, who first introduced the bill. The legal description to accompany the legislation defined the park┐s boundaries as: ┐Commencing at the point where the line of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway crosses the boundary between the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia; thence northeasterly along the said boundary to a point due north of Mount Longstaff; thence south to a point due west of the northeast corner of Lot 5668; thence south to the south boundary of the watershed of the south fork of the Fraser river; thence easterly along said boundary to the boundary between the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia; thence northeast along said boundary to point of commencement.┐ This described the entrance to the Yellowhead Pass. As the first legislative member for Fort George, Minister Ross made the announcement commenting that Mount Robson Park was ┐probably the wildest and most romantic on the continent.┐ Prince George anticipated a direct benefit in increased traffic and tourism resulting from visitors attracted to the new park. Mount Robson is distinguished as the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

Russell Walker, publisher and editor of the Fort George Herald, influenced opinion through the column he published in his weekly newspaper. Beyond that, he was a personable and gregarious man who participated actively in the life of the community by organizing social events and playing for the city┐s baseball team. In 1913, he purchased the first Heintzman piano ever brought to the city. After having it shipped up the Fraser river by scow, he arranged to store the piano in a cabin owned by Dick Yardley. Demonstrating uncommon energy, for years he obligingly contributed to social events by bringing the piano to the Ritts-Keifer Hall for dances. The ballroom was located on the second floor!

The area┐s pioneer dentist, Dr. Roy Alward, arrived in South Fort George by steamboat in the spring. By fall, he had established his practice in that district, although within a year he decided to follow the trend of moving downtown. Dr. Alward had received the classical education common to his era at schools in the Maritimes. He had earned his degree in dentistry from the University of Pennsylvania. His migration to British Columbia was part of the settlement pattern typical in the first decades of the twentieth century ┐ a westward movement dominated in particular by Maritimers.

Also in the fall, a change was made to the mail service. Dissatisfaction about the lack of regular, scheduled mail delivery had been widespread. The British Columbia Express Company was allowed to continue with its transportation of passengers and freight, but the contract to deliver the mail was granted instead to the Imperial Express Company. Sensitive to the need for more information about how the mail service would operate, the new company published its schedule which indicated the days and times mail would arrive and leave each destination. It took five days for mail to travel between Ashcroft and Fort George.

On April 1, the province was divided into forest districts. The Prince George Forest Region┐s office was supervised by District Forester G. D. McKay.



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