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Scott and Mildred MacDonald Photograph Collection
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Cheakamus River from bridge

The original spelling of the Cheakamus area (river and canyon) is chee-YAK-mush which is Indian for "fish weir". A slight variation in belief is that the original Indian spelling is Tsee-ark-amiskt which means "fish trap" and refers to the difficulty salmon have in travelling up the river.

Steam donkey along Cheekye at Yapp's Logging Camp

Squamish Timber Company's yarding donkey.

In 1907, Allan Newton Barbour and his brother Charles came to Squamish and logged using 6 yoke of oxen and took out six 24' logs a "turn" (load). The area logged was near the PGE Shops (by Castle's Crossing), across the river rom the shops, on the Burnt Ground near the cemetery, at Paradise Valley, and about five miles north of Cheekye. 2 to 20 men were employed. It was customary to log close to the river so the logs just had to be dragged into the river and floated to the Howe Sound where they were picked up by the Powell River company tugs and taken up to their mills. Log jams were broken up by men in canoes. Mr McComb was the first to tow logs down the river in a boat. The Barbours would later sell out to Mr Yapp. Mr Yapp's Squamish Timber Company was incorporated on March 21, 1907. In 1910, the Yapp Company cleared the Cheekye area. A steam donkey would haul the logs 400 feet and then an 8 horse team hauled them 1/2 mile on a skid road. Another donkey, called a roader, took the logs to the river. Here the logs followed a log trough. Instead of chokers, logging dogs were used. When the Howe Sound Northern Railway came into Cheakamus, the Yapp company used the train to transport logs to the booming grounds at Squamish. In 1911, a company owned by Mr Lamb took over the Yapp stand of timber.

In 1912, Arthur McIntyre, Fidolle Laviolette, Amedy Levesque, and George Laviolette ("The French Boys") won a steam donkey from Al Barbour in a poker game. Barbour had refused to sell it to them earlier. Mr Barbour went back to logging with horses hauling the timber out on skid roads until he could afford another donkey. The boys formed a partnership called the Laviolette, McIntyre, and Levesque Logging Co.

Trapping shelter at Elaho

Trapping shelter at Elaho built by Charles Schoonover. The men belong to Mather's logging outfit. Photo taken around 1908 - 1909.

Elaho River forms the west branch of the Squamish River. It is named for the Indian word meaning "good hunting area".

Start of Schoonover log cabin

417477 Government Road
This lovely log house was built by Charles Schoonover in 1932. Having worked as a hunter, trapper, and logger further up in the valley for nearly 30 years, Schoonover settled his family here in a house that reflected the beauty of the forests he loved.

Original use: Private residence.
Current use: Private residence.
Current condition: Very well maintained.

Hop farm barn

Hop. farm barn (across from Eagle run).

Hop farming was Squamish's first major industry. The major producer was Squamish Valley Hop Raising Co. (Bell-Irving Ranch). Hops are perennials and grown about 6 feet apart. They are picked during September and August. Hops are dried and bleached with sulphur in a kiln. In Squamish, Chinese labour was brought in to tend the hops. Local Squamish Nation were the pickers. They would camp in the area now between Petro Canada gas station and the Cottonwood condominiums. The hops in Squamish were top grade. They were shipped to Vancouver in bales wrapped in Burlap, then shipped to Britain where they were used to make beer.

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