Sunday, 4 June 2017

Fact and Fiction

Click here to open and read a review of Fact and Fiction: Slumach and the Lost Creek Mine in the summer edition of British Columbia History, the magazine of the British Columbia History Federation. The review was written by Mary Trainer, well-known as co-author with Rick and Brian Antonson of Slumach's Gold: In Search of of a Legend and author of Whistle Posts West: Railway Tales from British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Alfred (Fred) George Gaspard

Fred Gaspard, 1949
Alfred George Gaspard, was a 60-year-old widower who disappeared in the upper Pitt River area in 1950. During his life Fred Gaspard had been logging, prospecting, and farming and in 1949 he started a frog farm. The next summer Gaspard went into the upper Pitt River area never to be seen again.  Reportedly he was flown to a point north of Alvin and a second plane dropped off enough food for him to survive until the snow started falling.
On 28 February 1951, a dozen or so newspapers in the eastern US, all affiliated to Associated Press, published an article about Gaspard’s disappearance but the matter did not seem to catch the attention of BC newspapers until, on June 29, 1951 the Vancouver Sun reported that the RCMP had ended an unsuccessful two-week ground and air search for the lost “gold hunter.”

In October of that year both the Province and the Vancouver Sun reported that RCMP Constable John Dowsett of the Port Coquitlam attachment and Stan Zepeski of Pitt Meadows set out set out to Alvin on a five-day quest. As anyone familiar with the area knows the upper Pitt River at that time is a roaring torrent and the search in the rain in rough terrain was hazardous. As expected nothing was found but the account of their brief expedition made for good copy, in particular for the Province. That may have been the main purpose of this senseless expedition. Click here to read the article in the Province.