Kitsumkalum (Hemlock?) Telegraph Station

Kitsumkalum, British Columbia, Canada

Located at Eby's Landing, Next to Eby's General Store and the “Kitsumkalum Hotel”
Located 2 miles west of Terrace, 1 mile west of Kalum School, today (2018) School District offices
Just south of present day Keith Ave, Frank St. corner

First Operator- Percy Brunell (see below)
replaced by Henry Newton (Hank) Boss (see Bio and Genealogy below) from Graveyard Point
replaced by a Mr. Dempster (no Initial even here, so tough to track this fellow down.)
A R. B. Demorest was Operator here in 1909-1910, so might be real name, other than Dempster? (see Bio and Genealogy below)
replaced by Hugh Birch ca 1911 Hugh Birch at Hole-in-Wall in 1910
Office then moved to Terrace (Names above other than Demorest, from Floyd Frank's article, link below)

Oct 8, 1908 Dave Hasty shown as Telegraph Lineman at Kitsumkalum, he was applying to buy 320 acres, 2 miles below mouth of legate Creek and East Bank of the Skeena River.
this fellow is hiding from me.

Located in the middle of the longest branch line, the Prince Rupert Line (200 miles) of the Yukon Telegraph System, This station sat between Hazelton and Prince Rupert,
They built a side branch to Stewart in 1911, from this point for a distance of 175 miles in one source,
But Superintendent Phelan reported it was 150 miles, and was to be completed in July 1911. It was started in 1910.

Government telegraph Line shown north from Kitsumkalum
1925 map of Resources near Terrace
drawn by Fred Nash, BC Land Surveyor
Credit: Library and Archives Canada

In the early 70's you could see this line, and glass insulators in the bush, but price of insulators went up, and collectors have taken them all down.

Percy Brunell
This fellow is hiding real good from me, any clues to his name, or place of birth please let me know.
July 13, 1907 “The Sun” Port Essington's newspaper, reported Percy was on his way up river, and left Port Essington on Wed. July 10, 1907,
On the SS Northwest Sternwheeler, to be the First Telegraph Operator at Kitsumgallum (Hemlock).
Interesting enough the settlers had just voted on a new name for their new town, they called “Hemlock”
They voted on Fruitland or Hemlock, and Hemlock was picked.
Mr. Eby's Hotel was just completed and was awaiting furniture, which was on the same boat as Mr. Brunell.
Percy shown as an operator at Hole-in-wall in Sept 1-20, 1910

Henry Newton “Hank” Boss
b- June 1871 in USA, in 1911 census in Victoria, age 40, retired
d- Feb 9, 1925 in Victoria, age 59
married Martha Washington O'Neill, Oct 9, 1912 in Vancouver
she was born in Barkerville

July 30, 1908 a Henry N. Boss left Prince Rupert on SS City of Seattle, and sailed to Seattle, age 30,
est b- 1870, in Canada, shown as a Mining Engineer
last permanent residence Port Essington BC

another record shows him b- Jan 3, 1865 in Burford, Brant Co., ON, Canada
father- Henry Levi Boss, and mother- Elizabeth Ann Evans

his Obituary
Died Feb 10, 1925 at Victoria, BC, Henry Newton Boss, a BC pioneer.
About 1898 he moved to the Boundary country
and had a store at Eholt and later Beaverdell,
then was for some years a telegraph operator
on the Skeena River and Bulkley Valley…
For the past 8 years he has been an accountant
in the Forest Branch of Department of Lands.
Pallbearers: G R Madden, G V Copley, C B Peterson, S W Barclay,
E C Manning, R C Field. ROBP
[Colonist, 1925-02-12*] info from
Leona Taylor and Dorothy Mindenhall, “Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers,” Victoria’s Victoria, http://www.victoriasvictoria.ca/, 2007.

R. B. Demorest
Robert Berham Demorest
b- Apr 21, 1883, age 32, 8 mo in Jan 1916, in Franford, Northumberland, ON
d- 1957, Perth, Western Australia
Dec 21, 1909 he is shown as Telegraph Operator at Kitsumkalum, and he applied to purchase 160 acres of land next to Charles Durham's preemption #32, at Kitselas Canyon
1901 member of the 49th regiment, Hastings Rifles.
Left Canada in Nov 1914 to Australia.
enlisted in WWI in Australia Jan 17, 1916, Private, Svc #15972
1917 shown as a Trans Australian Railroad Operating Porter
wife, next of kin, Mary Olive May Demorest, Fremantle Australia
father- Charles Sylvanus Demorest, b- Aug 6, 1849 Foxboro ON, d- feb 23, 1933
mother- Sarah “Elizabeth” Demorest, nee Mager, (Magee?) lived at Stirling, Hastings, ON, ca 1916
Grandfather- John Demorest, grandmother- Hannah Stuyvesant

  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 10:50
  • by dlgent