Claxton, British Columbia, Canada

Claxton BC

Named after Frederic “Fred” James Claxton

Claxton, Skeena River, located at Telegraph Pass.
One time shown as a rapidly growing town, 12 miles from Port Essington, 30 Miles from Port Simpson, and 30 Km SE of Prince Rupert.

530 miles north of Vancouver

Lat- 54°05'00“
Long- 130°05'00”

Part of Fire Insurance map, see EXT link below

Located on the main channel, the Steamers use, between Victoria, Forks of the Skeena, and the Naas River.

It had a good wharf, capable of docking a steamer at any time of the year.

population of 200 in 1893

Saw Mill and Salmon Canning at this point

Sawmill was powered by water from a flume.

They laid out a village with sidewalks, and even a large store.

The “Royal Canadian Hotel” stood on the water front, at the southern end of the village.
Horace E. Kirby was the Hotel Keeper. His wife worked with him.

They were trying to promote the village as a health resort, as a Hot Springs were located within a 2 hour row.

All the other Canneries at this point, were in the protected waters of the Skeena River.
This was the first Cannery location, built 8 miles from the mouth of the Skeena.
It was reputed to be the best located cannery of all.

Claxton was started by the Royal Canadian Packing Co.
Company was Incorporated Sept 19, 1891 at Claxton.
Mr. William Dalby was the President of the Company.
They owned the Sawmill, Cannery, and General Store.
Turner, Beeton & Co. from Victoria, were Agents for the store.

Sept 1891 the Royal Canadian Packing Co. was listed in the BC Gazette, formed as an Association, with Limited Liability.
Promoters were J. A. Carthew, R. Finlayson, W. Dalby, and F. J. Claxton all of Victoria, and Meyrick Banks, of Wigan, Leicester, England.
Meyrick Banks owned coal mines in England.
The Capital Stock was $100,000, divided into 1,000 shares.
The shares were limited to 50 years.
Principal place of business, was to be Claxton.
It was to be managed by Carthew, Finlayson and Dalby.
They were incorporated to carry on business as Saw Mill owners, Timber Merchants, Fish Packers, and Oil Manufacturers.

1902 owned by Wallace Bros. and later BC Packers
Everything closed in 1944, (1945 per directories)
Sawmill built in 1893, (per EXT link below)

First Japanese Photographer in BC worked here.
R. Z. Tashiro, see Postcard Photographers page

W. Dalby, C.G. Ballentyne, and Fred J. Claxton, based in Victoria, were Directors/Owners in Dalby, Bannatyne & Claxton,
Agents in The British Columbia Fire Insurance Company, and The Royal Canadian Fire Insurance Company

Post Masters at Claxton

(A Steamship arrived here weekly with mail etc. from Nanaimo)

Andrew Stuart Robertson- Post Master -1894-1901

Duncan MacKenzie- Post Master -1902-1905 (possibly longer)

Jessie R. Wallace- Post Mistress -1910 (possibly earlier, and also later)

(Steamer and launch service from Prince Rupert)

A. G. Smith- Post Master -1916

J. W. Willisley- Post Master -1922
Can't find much on this name, so maybe spelling is wrong

Thomas H. Bubb- Post Master -1925-1927

Seems the Canadian Government established a Post Office here ca 1928, instead of possibly the Company operated one prior to this.

C. S. Lewis- 1928

W. F. Duncan- 1929

John A. Clark -1930

Office shown vacant in 1931

J. P. McMillan- 1932-1934

Angus Currie-1935-1945

Bnames below, numerous fishermen, saw mill workers, and boat builders were located here.

James Rudland- Store Keeper (also 1897)

J. A. Carthew- Manager of the Sawmill and Cannery
and was instrumental in forming this community

F. W. Johnstone- Notary Public (also 1897, 1900)
(He was a Notary in Vancouver before this)

Horace Kirby- Hotel Keeper (also 1897, 1900)
His wife worked with him. See hotel info above.

Henry Nelson- Bandmaster (also 1900)
a Band??

Rev. R. W. Gurd- Church of England (also 1900, 1904)
Newspaper showed a village church here.
The land and wood to build the Church was donated
by the Royal Canadian Packing Co.
He was married and had spent 7 years in the area, by 1893

A. Stuart Robertson- JP, Post Master, and Manager (also 1900)

Feb 1, 1899
Royal Canadian Canning Company's property sold
by auction to a Mr. S. D. Schultz, for Eastern and Local Capitalists.
He paid $27,500, considered a real bargain at the time.
Auctioneer Mr. Joshua Davies by order of the mortgagees
150 acres of land, dwelling houses, cabins, store and stock of goods,
a complete canning establishment, sawmill, boats, nets and gear.
New Owners were part of the original shareholders.

Dr. Vernon Ardagh- Physician- C. M. S. and hospital, also Metlakkatla

Wallace Bros. Packing Co. Ltd. operated here
owned by John and Peter Wallace, originally from Kildonan Scotland.

Thomas Whiteside- JP and Foreman

Sept 1909
Wallace Bros. intended to erect a fish freezing plant that cost $1.5 million dollars

R. Cunningham and Son- were operating the sawmill here.
see Port Essington for more info on them

Standard Cannery Canning Co. of BC were here

plus Wallace Bros. Packing Co. Ltd., fish packers and exporters

Wallace Fisheries Ltd. bought the Cannery, from Wallace Bros. Packing Co. Ltd.

Steamer and launch service from Prince Rupert

Owned by the Cassiar Packing Co. -Manager, Peter Wallace.

Cold Storage Plant here.

Wallace Fisheries Ltd.-Thomas Wallace Manager

Kildala Packing Co. Ltd.- Carl Grafstrom, Manager
Wallace Fisheries
Angus McAllister- Cold Storage Engineer

Claxton Cannery- BC Packers- Harvey Atchison Foreman

Carlisle Cannery- Canadian Fishing Company, A. D. Matheson,
Manager salmon cannery

Canadian Government Postmaster- Angus Currie
who was also last manager of the Carlisle cannery

Frederic “Fred” James Claxton
b- Apr 26,1856, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
d- Jan 9, 1947 in San Francisco, CA, age 90
buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo Co, CA, USA

Came from Montreal Apr 1890, retuned to Montreal,
Then returned with his wife and family in middle of May, 1890,
as he was joining the real estate firm of Dably & Ballantyne.

1920 US census shows him as an accountant for Jobbing Co.
in Oakland, Alameda, CA
daughters Enid and Agnes living with him and his wife
both daughters shown as married but no husbands shown.

Father- Thomas James Claxton
d- Jan 14, 1900
buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal
Merchant in Montreal

Mother- Jane Cridiford
d- Jan 26, 1912
buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal

married Christina “Christine” MacDonald Robertson, Sept 5, 1878, Montreal, Quebec
b- age 32 in 1891
d- Mar 27, 1948 in CA
buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo Co, CA, USA
daughter of Andrew Robertson and ?
both born in Scotland
same Andrew Robertson as the first postmaster above? my guess is yes.

4 children I know of:
daughter- Enid Robertson Claxton
b- June 14, 1879, age 30 in 1910, in Quebec
d- Dec 1966, San Francisco, CA
buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo Co, CA, USA

daughter- Agnes Robertson Claxton
b- ca 1884, age 26 in 1910, in Quebec
d- Jan 19, 1970 in CA
buried in Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, San Mateo Co, CA, USA

son- Fritz Robertson Claxton
b- Aug 8, 1888, in Montreal, Quebec
d- Nov 13, 1968, Berkeley, Alameda, CA
1940- Department Head, Banker, in Berkeley.
married Irma V. Young, Nov 22, 1913 in Berkeley, Alameda, CA
b- ca 1888, in CA
daughter- Marjorie H. Claxton- b- ca 1918 in CA

daughter- Violet Paton Robertson Claxton
b- Jan 26, 1893 in Victoria, BC
d- ?

Emigrated to us in 1901 per 1920 census

William Dalby
b- Jan 28, 1839 Richmond Hill, Upper Canada
d- Jan 22, 1916 at his home in Victoria BC, age 76
Came to Victoria in 1862
Mayor of Victoria 1873-1875, also JP
Grand Master in the Masonic Lodge of BC
He married twice.
(1) Sarah Jane Robinson Moody, 1866
(2) Susan Netherby, 1889.
second daughter of S.B. Netherby, of Vancouver.

John Alexander Carthew
b- Apr 14, 1857 in NS
d- Feb 28, 1914 in Prince Rupert BC
He was also involved in ownership of North Pacific Cannery
son of William Carthew and Elizabeth Murdic
married Caroline “Carrie” Eliza Pratt, Dec 3, 1888 in Victoria.

Roderick David Finlayson
b- June 15, 1867 in Victoria
d- May 7, 1916 Beach Dr, Oak Bay BC
Son of Roderick Finlayson and Sarah Work
married Lilias Mary Alla Grahame, Sept 5, 1907 in Victoria BC.

Horace Ebenezer Kirby
b- ca 1840
d- July 11, 1915, Port Essington BC, age 75
inventor and held the patent on smoking and curing fish
patent # 657,877 - patented -Sept 11, 1900

Rev. Robert Winter Gurd
born- birth registered as Robert William Gurd
b- bet Apr-June 1856, Bristol England
d- Feb 19, 1915 in Metlakatla BC, age 58
son of Robert Gurd and Jane Morris,
parents were married bet July-Sept 1850 in Bristol, England
married Eliza Hamley, Oct 10, 1887 in Victoria BC

Dr. Vernon Edmund Russel Ardagh
b- ca 1864 in India
d- Feb 6, 1944 in Coquitlam, BC, age 80
July 1885 passed his exams at
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Edinburgh.
in 1920 living with his family in Kitwanga BC
married Emma Frances Thelwall
married bet Jan-Mar 1889 in Barnstable Reg Dist, Devon, England
He had children born in Metlakatla

Fenwick Williams Johnstone
b- Aug 14, 1857, Halifax NS, age 55 in 1912
d- Nov 8, 1926 in Vancouver BC, age 69
son of James William Johnstone,
b- Jamaica, shown as a Judge in 1871
and Louise Pryor, b- NS
1891 and 1901 census shows him as a Barrister in New Westminster, Burrard BC
Shown as an Accountant in 1912
Married (1) ?
she died, as he remarried shown as a widower
married (2) Jessie Murphy, nee White,
married Dec 12, 1912, St. Andrew's Church, Vancouver BC
b- Quebec
she was shown as a widow
daughter of Francis White and Margaret Gorrie

Jessie Robinson Wallace
b- ca 1873 in Greenville ON
d- Dec 14, 1938 in Vancouver BC, age 65
daughter of Peter Wallace, the co-owner of the cannery, and Charlotte Heney (Haney?)
married Frances Edmund Burke, Sept 24, 1913 in Vancouver BC

Thomas H. Bubb
b- ca 1856
d- Mar 19, 1937 in Prince Rupert, age 81
buried in Fairview Cemetery, in Prince Rupert
He was married to an Olive Bubb, he applied for a divorce in 1917.

James Rudland
b- ca 1857
d- ?
he was a member of the Metlakatla First Nation Band
married Sarah Tucker, July 1, 1876 in Metlakatla BC
They had children in Metlakatla and Port Essington
He also operated a store in Metlakatla

Ext Links
Note- NOT my sites
Links may or may not work in the future
as I do not control these sites.

Claxton Info





Appraisal Map 1943

#16 on map on this page

Cannery Maps
Library and Archives Canada site

Fred Claxton Family fonds
photo albums etc kept at Library and Archives Canada
171 b/w photos- not online sad to say


  • Last modified: 2018/01/21 22:33
  • by dlgent