Dear Editor: My Rausch River comments reflect on the 2021 letter by Rob Mercereau of Dunster and the more recent Log Drive story by Harold (Harry) Hinkelman. Both of those submissions contain noteworthy information and I will just comment with some “between the lines” subject detail.
When my brother Cyril and I operated the small lumber operation near McBride, during the 1950s, we made several carloads of cedar poles each year. Those poles were sold to the USA brokerage firm “McGillis and Gibbs”. Their agent, Carl Lofgren from Valemount, relayed information to us that the company would be willing to finance access road construction up the Rausch River as they were aware of substantial cedar timber in that valley. We turned down the offer.
The Fraser River crossing site, that Anderson used to get to his sawmill, was accessed from what is now referred to as Hidden Lake Road. This is a bit further east than what Harry remembered. We lived one kilometre east of the bush road Anderson used.
Referring to the Hystad family who purchased the Rausch River sawmill from Otto Anderson. Initially, Hystad hauled lumber from that mill via the public road to their planer-mill at Valemount. During winter 1948-49, Jack Long was moving some of that milled wood with an old Army truck. The temperature turned to -50 F. My Dad and Cyril were ploughing snow with the D4 dozer and were camped at King Creek. Jack came along with his lumber truck and decided to spend the night there in the caboose. All engines were left running throughout the night. The D4 was double-shifted for snow removal in the Dunster/Croydon area.