Kemano- Wachwas Camp

Kemano, British Columbia, Canada

Wachwas Camp

Wachwas Camp was a couple miles closer to the Beach area, than Camp 5.
It was for the married men, and Management.
It had house trailers, and prefab houses.
It was located at Seekwyakin Creek, just to the north of the camp, a tributary of the Kemano river,
even though there really is a Wachwas Creek, but it was closer to the Beach.

the turn off from Kemano Dr., the road to the beach, is located at

Latitude- 53 deg 33 min 47.43 sec N
Longitude- 127 deg, 56 min 33.78 sec W

As they built the road from the Beach, they created camps.
each one was given a number as they went.
I guess when they got to the powerhouse area,
they were at number 5, thus it became Camp 5.
Not sure why Wachwas camp wasn't a number like the rest.
Interesting bit of trivia to figure that out.

Explanation of these photos below from Mr.Grant Walker.
This is a picture of the housing for the family's of white collar and skilled labour the company needed.
Called Wachwas Camp, but actually located at Seekwyakin Creek.
Left to right. Turquoise arrow is were we lived when we first arrived in Kemano.
It was a small trailer for the 4 of us. (see below)
Next Turquoise arrow is of the house we moved to.
Yellow arrow is of company store.
Food and more important trading cards for me.
These were of tanks and big guns.
All us kids use to trade them with each other.
Next Turquoise arrow is of school for us kids.
Classes were of many grades in the same room and same teacher.
Not enough of us little brats to go around.
Red arrow below road near river is skating rink.
Company dug it out. It was very shallow
and water was very slow moving and would freeze in the winter.
If you look a little farther left from my trailer.
At rivers edge that is were the picture of my brother and I was taken
with the 7 on the mountain. (see below)
That will show you how far it was to the power house.
Last shot is of same place.
As you first enter off the main road it is all trailers on your left
except in the fore ground.
If you look closely at the trailers you will see roof of longer buildings.
These are toilets and showers.
Half was for women, half for men.
There was no toilets or showers in the trailers

1954- a 5 room school, grades 1 to 9
The Principal was a Mr. Gleddie
Library operated by M-K librarian, Miss Catherine Pearce.

Trailer as described above.
top photo- “Bud” Walker, wife Bertie Walker, son Ayce Walker.
taken by Grant Walker
Bottom photo- another view of the trailer, with joey shack,
shower/toilet building in background

Wachwas Camp looking toward the beach

Pictures from Grant Walker
Showing the house the family lived in,
Skating rink the kids played on,
fishing everyday,
and even a picture of the Kemano dump!
Bottom of left picture background is the Kemano dump

Skating rink was across the road from the Wachwas Camp.
Of course the snow had to be hand shovelled off it.

Top Photo- snow capped mountain
Bottom photo-
Left front is Mr. Grant Walker (who donated these photos)
Right front- his brother Ayce Walker.
this is at Seekwyakin Creek, beside Wachwas Camp

Left- Jane (Jay) Mary Brown, wife of “Al” Brown
Right- Albert (Al) James Brown, from England
working at their home at Wachwas Camp

All photos courtesy Grant Walker,
from his father, Thomas Raymond Walker's collection

1. Solve a Mystery

Got this email from a fellow whose Dad worked in Kemano
“My name is Bob Jordan. my Dad was the Safety Supervisor at Kemano from 1958 to 1968. In 58 I recall going up the skip at Wachwas and entering a tunnel at the top. We went as far in as we could go about 100 m. at that point there was a wall with a steel door. No one seams to have any memory of it. wondering if you might recall it and if you know what was the purpose of it? They were decommissioning the skip way at this time, Bob told me later is the reason they were up there. It went up about 800 ft. Landing was just back of the trailers.
Now this was a large Tramway (Skip Way) that an ambulance fit on it, also it WAS BEHIND Wachwas Camp, NOT the MK one up Mt. Dubose, from the main camp 5.
If you know who built this and what was it for please let me know.
the way it was sealed off by steel doors, is the same way the tunnel adits were sealed off.
but was it built for Kemano, or before Kemano?
Possibly an old mine?
Grant Walker remembers seeing an old small cable running up the mountain, but that's about it.

2. Another Search, can anyone help?

Email Jan 13, 2018 from Albert G. E. Smith, looking for info on his father Leonard Leslie Smith who worked and lived in Kemano as a boilermaker/millwright and also possibly lived in Kitimat.
“This pic seems to show the same mountain in the background with the 7 on it that is on your Wachwas camp page with the mention
“At rivers edge that is were the picture of my brother and I was taken with the 7 on the mountain. ”
It is probably me standing on the left and my younger sister sitting on the ground. ”
He also would like to know location of photo below, sorry, quality not great


  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 17:13
  • by dlgent