Feeding in winter from a double bobsleigh with an 8 foot x 16 foot hay rack pulled by a team of percheron horses. (NT Museum archives)

Valley Voices: What were North Thompson Valley winters like 70 years ago?

Winter in the North Thompson Valley has been fairly mild this year, although ‘Old Man Winter’ still has plenty of time to get active and throw some nasty surprises out before spring arrives.

Seventy years ago winters had colder temperatures, plenty of snow, and none of the comforts that valley residents enjoy today during our coldest time of the year.

Back around the 1950’s winters could be tough, but that didn’t stop folks from feeding stock, running trap lines, clearing roadways, hauling ore, running businesses, raising their families, and traveling to where they had to go. The North Thompson River usually froze throughout most of the winter, making commuting from one side to the other much quicker when an ice bridge was used.

Winter also provided some great opportunities for outdoor sports such as hockey and skating which were popular in area communities and provided great fun for all.

Thanks to the North Thompson Museum for giving our readers a look back in time by sharing these photographs of valley winters “back in the old days”. The photographs are from their history book ‘Exploring Our Roots’.

Check out: http://www.barrieremuseum.com/index.html.


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An ice bridge over the North Thompson River by the ferry at McLure in the mid-1950s. (Connie Falk photo)

Using a horse to move ore in the wintertime from the Windpass mine to a staging point at Dunn Lake. (Marie Sallow photo)

The first mechanized road grader in the North Thompson Valley.  Pictured: (l-r) Herb Noble, Phil Muskett, and road foreman Jack Young. (Pat North photo)

Playing ice hockey in Barriere in the 1950's.  Pictured: (l-r) George Gatehouse, Mel Schmidt, Ted Hansen, Don Dodge, Bob and Albert Latremouille and goalie Eugene Broder. (Walter Schilling photo)

A trappers winter home, complete with fur pelts and a hound dog. (Marie Swallow (Johnson) photo)

B&A store or garage. (NT Museum Archives)

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