Mystery Teacher Falls in Love with the Valley

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

In a 1938 edition of the Prince George Citizen, this person was reported to be making his fourth trip down the Crooked, Pack, and Parsnip Rivers with a group of his students.  His quote from the book Finlay’s River by R.M. Patterson is “to show them that Canada was something more than just Bay Street, Toronto”.  The students were from Upper Canada College, where he taught, and was supported by the Schools Exploration Society of Canada.

This gentleman earned his Civil Engineering degree in London, England and was a Colonel in the Intelligence Division of the Canadian Armed Forces during World War II.

He fell in love with the valley on his first trip not only because of the natural beauty but it was untouched by road, rail, or towns.  Government reports stated that there was an estimated 600,000 acres of agricultural land and his dream was to develop it.

After his trip 1938 he did not return to his valley until 1949.  During one of his trips into the valley, Dick Corless who transported his students and supplies, introduce him to Slim Cowart.  When the gentleman returned in 1949 he purchased Slim’s homestead on the Wicked River.  His wife later would say that he loved his “Estate” on the Peace.

His is a very interesting story and members of his family have left an indelible mark on the fabric of Canada.  Can you tell me who this person is or maybe even who his famous nephew is?

The answer for who the mysterious trapper was in the last issue is Roland Skog.  We also have pictures of his cabin that he built above the high water mark.  Since he was a cabinet maker, his cabin is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

Our hours are 10 am to 2 pm, Tuesday to Saturday, September to June. During July and August we are open 9am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday.  Our phone number is 250-997-3021 and our email address is  Each artifact in the Museum has a story and we want to tell the world.

This article was published in the Golden Raven magazine, Spring 2015


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