Terrace- Ferry Island

Terrace / Thornhill, British Columbia, Canada

Ferry Island is part of the Terrace BC Municipality, it is located in the Skeena River, between Thornhill and Terrace.
So named because it had a Cable Ferry at one time located here,
which was not required after 1925 when the “Old Skeena Bridge” was built.

Aerial of Ferry Island from the Terrace Airport South End
Both Skeena Bridges can be seen in background.
Terrace middle left, and bottom left is portion of Thornhill
Photo courtesy Brian Wolfe, Ladysmith

Skeena River flooding, Ferry Island, year unknown,
you can see houses on right side which became Kerr and Cramer St in Terrace.
A few building on left side can be seen. One of these would be Michaud Brother's place.

Looks like most of the trees have been cut on the Island, Some of the trees were cut for sawmill use, by George Little, some burnt down in Forest Fires,
and possibly some used as cord wood for the Sternwheelers

Of course on the top of the hill, in rear of picture, is the Terrace-Kitimat Airport today.

1978 Flood
Photos by Brian Wolfe, Ladysmith BC

The “New” Dudley Little Skeena Bridge crosses Ferry Island, and if you look close in the photo above, you can see a line of trees, brush? that goes across the Island,
which is where the main power line crosses the Island (2017) This was the road from the Terrace-Thornhill Cable Ferry to the Skeena Slough Bridge (both shown in photos below)

Location of the Thornhill-Ferry Island Ferry, and the bridge across the Skeena slough (right fork in picture)
One article I have seen says the Ferry left the Thornhill side, Near the mouth of Thornhill Creek.
Today's (2017) High Power line route, is the same path the ferry and road across the Island took.

Skeena Slough Bridge, from Terrace to Ferry Island
George Little's Pre-Emption (Marsh Cres area) shown in foreground, also GTPR right of way.
Darren Rieberger donated this postcard, which shows the bridge.
See the full caption and picture on bottom of this page

Terrace Ferry, ca 1917, Looking toward Thornhill side, as the cable tie is on the left here.
Shown in the photo, Pete McDonald Ferryman (K. Kerr's Uncle)

Also Shown Vina Eby (The little girl)
Vina was Ed Eby's daughter from Eby's Landing
Courtesy McRae Collection

From the Terrace side, the wooden bridge shown above was built on end of Ferry Road, today “Haugland Ave”. Built in the winter of 1913. It was a Howe Truss Span Bridge style.
Ferry served until 1925, when the “Old” Skeena River Bridge was built. One of the workers building the first bridge, was Frederick “Fred” Hampton.
The bridge to ferry Island existed until the flood of 1936.

Terrace-Thornhill Cable Ferry
Courtesy Grant Walker, CA

Ferry Island end of the Thornhill-Terrace Cable Ferry
close-up of buildings in photo above.

Wed. Oct 22, 1913- Daniel Brenton Kenney, ferryman at the time, drowned in the Skeena River trying to remove a snag on the lower cable on the Terrace Ferry, He was age 30
b- Nov., ca 1883, in NS, Canada
1911 census says he was born Nov 1880,
He was with his brother Lambert H. Kenney and Edward T. Kenney at Kitselas restaurant, shown as a Restaurant Keeper.
He was a popular rancher living near Terrace
Daniel was married to Belle Hall, b- Yarmouth NS
and they had 3 children, Elsie, Orval, and Gladys.
The family moved from Nova Scotia to Kitselas, bet 1907-1911 and in Nov 1911 to Terrace.

An old map from 1914/15 shows the ferry went right around south tip of Ferry Island, which is wrong.

Back in the early 1930's there was houses, and farms located on the Island.
The Edmund Hamer family was one that lived there, until their home burnt down.
Edmund Fletcher Hamer
b- July 25, 1872, Whitefield, England
Christened- Oct 6, 1872, Stand, Lancashire, England
d- July 24, 1944 in Terrace, age 71
buried in Terrace Pioneer Cemetery
son of Robert Hamer
and Alice Ann Fletcher
married Mary Elizabeth Chambers
b- Mar 25, 1886 in Kerwood ON, age 79
d- May 28, 1965, Riverview Hospital, Essondale, BC
daughter of John James Chambers.
sons Kenneth Hamer and Robert Hamer,
daughter Alice Hamer, all children born in BC.
Edmund shown as a Brickmaker at the Brickyard in Terrace in 1921.

Walter Wright was another, both on the south end of the Island, ca 1931 when a fire swept thru the Island. Acres of wild raspberries were reported here.

1927- George Little cut spruce trees on the Island 5ft in thickness.

In Mar 1932 they subdivided the whole Island, and plans were in place to develop it. I think the 1936 flood stopped this.

The Island today, is known for it's campsites, It's river fishing on the East side, and of course the beautiful pathways, on the south half of the Island.
Now a path built on the north end by McElanney employees.
A place for pedal bikes, dogs, joggers and walkers. Not a place for fast cars, four wheel bikes, or any off road vehicle.
A Picnic site at the extreme south end is also included.

Near the picnic site, is a frog breeding pond. Now a protected area.

In the middle are bathrooms, and a great play area for children, which I believe the Rotary Club built.
there are more Picnic tables in this area. Everyday of the week there are people with children here.

During the Second World War the Island was used for training exercises
Info on this page
Private Berger War Mystery


Rule #1-
Pick up your dog's Poop! In all areas of the Island! winter and summer!

Rule #2-
Remember the area south of the bathrooms is a Leash OFF area for dogs.
If you don't like to run into dogs off leash, don't walk in the south part.
If your dog isn't socialized, don't walk there!
If your dog is on leash, and mine isn't, they will meet, and if your dog isn't socialized, they might fight. Don't walk it off leash until it is socialized!
Every dog in this area should be socialized, and off leash if possible.
Some dogs, like one of mine, tend to take off and are not fully trained to return.
I leave him on leash, even though he is fully socialized.
If you don't want to run into dogs that “might” jump up on you, just to say hi, don't walk there.
I don't encourage my dogs to jump up on folks, but sometimes they do.

There are lots of parks in town, to walk your dog on leash if that is what you want to do.
Dogs are social animals, they were not born with leashes.
They like to run free, and meet and sniff other dogs.
Be aware of this here and you and your dog will enjoy themselves.
I love meeting other dogs, and so do my dogs.
It's the human that is the problem usually.
You keep pulling your dog back on a leash, he will pull more, and get the impression from you he needs to protect you, not the other way around.
If you are scared of dogs they will sense this. they are not stupid, we are!

Rule #3-
Everything from the Parking lot / Highway end, to the Washrooms is a Leash ON area for dogs. (Campground season only)
If your dog isn't socialized, walk him here, until he is.
I have never seen a dog fight as long as the dogs are off leash.
It's the one with the dog on leash, that thinks it's tough. They usually cause the problem.
Socialize your dog! Every dog needs friends.
It is no good for the dog, picking him up every time, he sees a another dog, or pulling back on the leash.
Yes they sniff, Yes they might bark. If they get aggressive, then be prepared to pull your dog back and tell them no, they will learn.
But they will not learn to play unless you let them.
More dogs they see and play with the better pets they will become.

Rule #4-
Keep your dog out of the play area around the washrooms.
Kids play here, Male dogs like to pee on things.
The 2 don't mix.
But please take your kids out of this area, and teach them to touch and respect dogs elsewhere in the park.
I've seen teachers over there, tell their kids not to touch the dogs. No wonder they grow up to be scared of them.
Ask if the dog is kid friendly, if they are, and most are, then let the child enjoy the fun of petting a dog.

A roadway goes down the center of the Island. In the summer this is a great little drive, or walking area. DRIVE SLOW! This not a raceway, kids and dogs play on the sides.

The City of Terrace controls the Park
There is a summer caretaker on site.
I don't believe alcohol is allowed.
Smoking should be banned as well in my opinion, only due to the fire hazard. would you like to be the one responsible for burning the park down?
It's a place for FRESH air! smoke in the parking lot. butt it out on the pavement.
cigarettes don't butt out in the bush when it's dry as tinder!
If you are caught for lighting a fire here, I wouldn't want to be you.

Included in the walking area, is wood carvings. Some are carved in old stumps, some in the bark of the old cottonwood trees. A keen eye is required to spot those in the trees.

It is a terrific addition to the City. A true Jewel!

Please Keep it clean! Pick up your Dog Poop! and your Garbage!

Enjoy Mother Nature at it's best.
Be Bear Aware in the park, as there has been sightings in past years of Black Bears on the Island.
Usually signs are posted after the sighting.
Just be prepared, it is a “wild” park.

My property backs onto the Skeena River “slough”, and I get to see the Island from the rear of my property.
We had to stop a proposal of a boat launch on the Island a few years ago. This would have been a disaster, for us and the park.
I hope future politicians stop any further development on the island.
I think personally, it is perfect right now.
If anything, more garbage cans be installed.

  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 16:23
  • by dlgent