In 2012

In 2012

Collins Overland Telegraph line is 150 years old this year

The telegraph line passed directly through Burns Lake

Decker Lake resident Bob Saul has heard stories about the Collins Overland Telegraph line since he was a little kid.

The telegraph line, which was built in 1866, extended from north of New Westminster to as far north as Telegraph Creek on the Stikine River. The line passed directly through Decker Lake and Burns Lake.

Saul said it’s important to know about this telegraph line because it represents an important part of the Burns Lake history.

The area was first settled during construction of the telegraph line. The lake and thus the village are named after Michael Byrnes, a surveyor for the Collins overland telegraph.

In 2012, Saul and a researcher from Surrey searched the area around his property with metal detectors and found pieces of wire and objects such as chains and insulators used on the telegraph line.

In Burns Lake, the telegraph trail passed near the now Lakes District Museum, extending behind the Home Hardware store and near Mulvaney’s Pub.

Construction on the telegraph trail was motived by the desire to establish faster and more efficient communication between North America and Europe in the 1800s.

An attempt was made in 1864 to link the continents with underwater cable across the Atlantic, but this was not successful.

As an alternative, the Collins Overland Telegraph involved a line starting in San Francisco, running north through the United States and B.C., across Alaska to an underwater crossing of the Bering Sea and then connecting with the already constructed Russian telegraph system to link eventually with the European system.

By 1866, a 50-foot wide right-of-way had been constructed as far north as Telegraph Creek on the Stikine River.

However, in June of 1866, news came to the construction crews that another underwater cable had been laid across the Atlantic and was operating successfully.

Work on the Collins Overland Telegraph trail was then abandoned. The section north of Quesnel was forgotten and the line from Quesnel south was put into operation.

The Yukon gold rush of 1898 opened up new frontiers and brought a surge of people who soon decided they wanted a fast, efficient and year-round method of communicating with the rest of the world.

An extension of the telegraph line from Quesnel to Dawson City, Yukon, was then completed in 1901. Parts of the line stayed in operation until after the second world war, but the section north of Hazelton was closed in 1936 when a flood destroyed some of the facilities.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Grad 2021 parade through the village. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: LDSS graduation 2021 parade in Burns Lake

Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) in Burns Lake had a graduation parade… Continue reading

First farmer's market Burns Lake 2021. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community Market 2021 begins in Burns Lake

Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce’s community market, which has received… Continue reading

Garden woodchips. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Greenhouse progress in Burns Lake

The Burns Lake Community Garden have a huge pile of woodchips, rough… Continue reading

The Beacon Theatre roof project will ensure the theatre’s roof can handle the snow loads and stay open during winter months. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Roof replacement for Beacon Theatre begins

Theatre to remain closed until August

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read