Joel "Joe" Trulson

Usk, British Columbia, Canada

Joel “Joe” Trulson
aka: Joel “Joe” Trulsson
b- Apr 17, 1883 in Hjarsas, (Christinstadt?) Sweden (per WWI attestation paper)
d- July 29, 1963, at 4626 Davis Ave, Terrace BC
buried in Kitsumgallum Cemetery, Terrace BC

The True Founder of Kleanza “aka: Gold” Creek Provincial Park

Fun at Joel Turlson's, stilts made by Joel.

Opening the New Gold Creek Bridge, 1919
folks from Usk celebrating the opening.

Both photos courtesy the McRae Collection

Info below written by Kathleen Varner, nee Durham,
who taught school in Usk in the early years per her son:

Born in Hjarsas, Sweden - April 4, l883 (note difference in birth date from above)

Joel came to Canada at an early age. When World War I broke out he jointed the Engineers Corp. and went overseas. He became badly injured, when, with his body, he held up a collapsing structure. Two comrades managed to get safely from under but it left him partially disabled.

After the war he returned to Canada and took up land under the Soldiers Settlement Board at Lily Lake, B.C. - near Vanderhoof. There he and another bachelor cleared a homestead. Later Joel was disappointed in a love affair and left the homestead to his rival and came to Usk.

He worked in a couple mining projects around Usk in the late twenties and early thirties and then started placer mining on Gold Creek (now Kleanza Creek) above the canyon. Here he found small amounts of gold, enough to keep him along with his small disability pension.

Around the time World War II broke out, he found working in the cold water was taking its toll and he moved down to a little log cabin just at the foot of the canyon. This cabin had been deserted by earlier gold panners. There he did a little placer mining digging in the mossy crevices with a wire hook instead of standing the creek.

Once in a while during the summer a family or two would come from Usk for a picnic. Joel began clearing a bit of space and rigged up a table and benches. Soon more people began to visit. He made boats, stilts and things for the children - even bows and arrows which he finally had to discard.

It wasn't long before campers, from here, there and everywhere, were visiting, many from the states. He received many letters and cards from these visitors and friends. As more people came he cleared a larger area and fixed up more picnic tables and benches.

When the Provincial Government took over the park in the fifties, a lot of the area along the creek and the trail up over the cliff had been cleared by Joel. It was suggested at that time the park be called “Trulson Park” but Joel would not have it.

Joel was very shy, but honest and independent. He felt that in making Gold Creek a beautiful spot - a place for people to enjoy, he was, in some small measure, repaying the pension that he had received from the Government.

From the results of his war injury and arthritis, he could no longer stay out in the damp atmosphere of Gold Creek, so he moved into a cabin in Usk. He passed away July 30, l963. Joel, known as Joe to his many friends, is buried in the Terrace Cemetery as “Founder of Trulson Park”.

Kathleen Varner

Items I have found below:

Joseph Trulson b- Apr 17, 1883 in Christinstadt, Sweden per WW! attestation paper
living in Fort Fraser BC, when he enlisted in WWI July 28, 1916 in Lethbridge AB.
next of kin, brother?- O. T. Rosen, living in Cokato, Wright Co., MN, USA

1910 shows up in the Valdez District of Alaska, shown immigrating in 1900.
It appears he came to Ketchikan on SS Humboldt, June 29, 1909
Shows him age 28 on this ship.

Mar 1926 him and Gus Nyberg were doing assessment work on the Reid Property on Kleanza Creek.

July 1926, Joe and Gus were involved in a claim called Tom Boy- Poorman Group in the Silver Basin.

1935 voters list shows him in Tlell, QC Islands, Skeena District, as a Miner

1940 he is in Usk as a Prospector

Nov 23, 2017 I heard from a relative of this man, Janis Holmgren, who lives in Sweden.
He was her grandmother's older brother.
Below is her comments about Joel.
A little more about Joel. He was 6 years old when his Father Truls died of pneumonia. My Grandmother was 1 year 2 months old at that time. So My Great grandmother was left with 4 small children, it must have been a tough time. Joel left for the States 1900 at 17.
We have 2 stories we were told about him. I don´t know where he was sent in WWI but it was freezing cold where ever it was in Europe. He came in some situation that to save his life he had to open the belly of a horse and put himself in the cavity to survive. The other story was that some Winter in BC had been so severe, he had no food other than eating grass to survive. I remember Grandmother telling this story. To think that the gravestone has the name of the village on it. I go to that very small village every year and take care of his Mother`s (my Great grandmother´s grave). It is made of polished black granite, which is a well-known granite from this part of Sweden. Janis Holmgren

Ext Links



WWI attestation paper


  • Last modified: 2018/01/07 12:25
  • by dlgent