KITSUMGALLUM CEMETERY STORYBOARD, TERRACE, B.C.

HISTORY OF THE HISTORICAL KITSUMGALLUM PIONEER GRAVEYARD

In 1909, the original gravesite of one acre was donated by Samuel Charles Dad Weeks in June, 1909, part of his pre-emption, D.L. 1745, which ran from Eby’s Landing north to Dutch Valley. Dad Weeks was the original postmaster at the Kitsumgallum post-office.

The cemetery was managed by a Board. Some of the citizens on the early board were Harry King, Billy West, Henry Frank, Charles Green, George Jones, Bill Kirkpatrick, Billy Donald, Geo. Dover, and George Little.

In 1909, an engineer from the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, who was supervising the construction of the railroad, was asked to set up the four boundary stakes of the graveyard. At a meeting of the Board, a motion was passed that the cost of the survey should not exceed ten dollars.

The Kitsumgallum Cemetery was established in June of 1909. In the spring of 2003, a group of Terrace residents - most of them having relatives in our Pioneer Graveyard - started the cleanup and revitalization of the grounds and monuments in the Cemetery, under the supervision of Yvonne Moen. Some years before, Sally Smaha and her group had recorded information regarding the grave sites. The final touches and the planting of flowers at the cemetery took place in the spring of 2004. By the fall of 2004, a History Board and Graves Directory had been established at the front entrance to the Kitsumgallum Cemetery.

Friends of the Cemetery from 2003 to 2004 included Norma Morrison, Paulette McCullock, Aileen Frank, Julia Little, Irene Horne, Bev Bujtas, Sally Smaha, Heather Webb, Debbie Kennedy, Chuck Place, Bill Little, Leonard Lindstrom, Bill McRae, Bud Kirkaldy, Les Bryant, Gabriel Munson, Gordon Hamilton, Len Bruggerman, Bill McRae Jr., Jimmy McKenzie, Tom Harris, George Chinn, Emil Foresee and Yvonne Moen, Project Coordinator

The display board was constructed by the students of Parkside School under the supervision of teacher, Joe Murphy, with a grant from the Terrace Elks Club. The storyboard which was installed on to the display board was researched, written and donated by the Terrace Regional Historical Society.

HISTORICAL STORIES FROM THE GRAVEYARD

1. JOHN JOHNSTON (1869 TO 1914) and ROBERT JOHNSTON (1879 - 1914)

John Johnston was single, age 45 years, born in England. He lived in the Terrace area for about three years. He was a teamster and rancher and had previously worked as a stable boss. He died on the Mud Lake Bridge, Kitsumkalum, on April 16, 1914, at one p.m. He was crushed by a loaded wagon which passed over his body. The death was recorded by Thomas Parsons of the B.C. Provincial Police, Terrace. Buried at Kitsumkalum Cemetery on April 19, 1914.

Robert Johnston was single, aged 35 years, born in England. He had lived in the area for about three years. He was a teamster and rancher. He died on Mud Lake Bridge, Kistumkalum on April 14, 1914. He was run over by a loaded wagon. The death was recorded by Thomas Parsons of the B.C. Provincial Police, Terrace. He was buried in Kitsumkalum Cemetery on April 19, 1914.

John Johnston, an Englishman, came into the valley in 1911 with his brother, Robert. They pre-empted on the Cedar River about three miles north of Kalum Lake. Robert pre-empted D.L. 5123 and John pre-empted B.C. 5122, just east of his brother’s pre- emption.

In the Spring of 1914, they bought a team of four year old Percheron horses with a heavy lumber wagon and equipment to start farming. On April 16, 1914, they were coming out from town on their way home when they stopped for lunch at the approach to the bridge that, at that time, spanned the Kalum River where it runs out of Mud Lake. As there was very little traffic on the road in those days, they did not leave room for another wagon to pass. They unhitched the horses to feed them and were having lunch when another team came from the other side of the river. As they were in the middle of the road, they had to move their wagon so that the other team could pass.

Instead of hitching the horses to the wagon correctly, they hitched one horse on one side and one brother took the neckyoke on the opposite side. These horses were young and high spirited. As the one hitched to the wagon did not have his mate with him, he bolted and knocked the brothers down. The wagon ran over both of them and both died as the result of this needless accident. Robert was only thirty-five at the time of his death and John was 45.

They were both new to this country and were green to its ways. A man with experience would never have attempted such a foolish act.

George Little bought the horses after the accident. Even years later they were very spirited and would run at the drop of a hat.

Note: This accident happened where the old Seventeen Mile mill was later located.

Researched by Ted Johnston

2. Samuel Charles Weeks (died in 1925)
- donated the land for the cemetery

Samuel Charles Weeks is buried as Charles Weeks, 1925, in Burnsland Cemetery, 27 Avenue and Spiller Road, Calgary, Alberta. The grave is in Lot 115, Block 1, Section H. He is in an unmarked grave. According to the 1881 Nova Scotia Census, the Weeks family lived in Dartmouth, Nova Socia. All of the family were born in New Brunswick.

James Weeks, English, 64, born in N.B., Painter, C. Baptist
Margaret Weeks, English, 62, born in N.B., C. Baptist
Charles Weeks, English, 35, born in N.B., Clerk, C. Baptist
Sarah Weeks, English, 25, born in N.B., C. Baptist

Researched by W. Gurney, Sept. 15, 2004




Copyright 2005 Terrace Regional Heritage Society