UNBC Archives - Cassiar Photo Identification Project

June 17, 2011

Ramona Rose who heads the Archives and Special Collections of the Northern BC Archives - UNBC Library of University of Northern British Columbia, recently made a presentation of the Cassiar Photo I.D. Project at a history conference.

She kindly agreed to share with us the synopsis of her Power Point presentation which is available here as a pdf file.

Photo ID Project Synopsis.pdf

It is being posted here for general research and education purposes only. Requests for any use, including commercial use should be directed to Ms. Rose  via email at roserm@unbc.ca

Here also is a link to an interview following the conference.

"Tapping into the memory bank of a dead town"

I was delighted to learn how the Cassiar Community helped so much with the project and thank the efforts of everyone involved for their contributions to keep alive the memories of Cassiar and document it for history.

June 16, 2010

Cassiar Photo I.D. Project - Help Needed!

Greetings Cassiarites! My name is Megan Heitrich and I am a student at the University of Northern British Columbia. This summer I am working on a Cassiar project for the Northern BC Archives and Special Collections at UNBC. When Cassiar was dismantled, the Archives acquired the rights to all of the town and corporate records so that this material could be stored, remembered, and ultimately made available for research in perpetuity. This summer, it is my job to work with the photographs in this collection. It is an exciting task, but a difficult one. I need your help identifying some of the images of the town you once lived in and loved. Herb Daum has generously agreed to help facilitate this process by posting some photos on the “Cassiar…do you remember?” website.

If you recognize the location, people, equipment, buildings, context, date, or know any other interesting tidbits of information, please let me know at archives@unbc.ca.
I can be reached at the Archives from Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 4:30 at (250) 960-5592.

You can also check out the Geoffrey R Weller Library facebook page and add to the comments on the Cassiar album I have posted there. You will find the page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/album.php?aid=179307&id=170324924795
(You must “like” our page before it will allow you to comment). To "like" the page click here:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Prince-George-BC/Geoffrey-R-Weller-Library/170324924795 and click the "Like" button that appears to the right of the title near the top of the page as shown by the red arrow in this graphic.

Any input you may have would be greatly appreciated! Please help us keep your memories of Cassiar alive!

If you live in the Prince George area and have knowledge about the mining and mill operations, equipment, or construction of the plant buildings, please contact us! We have photos of both Cassiar and Clinton Creek that need to be identified, and would love to have you come and visit.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the project, and/or if a photograph of yourself has been posted and you would like to have it removed, please email myself or my supervisor Ms. Ramona Rose, Head of Archives (archives@unbc.ca)

These photographs are part of the Cassiar Asbestos Corporation Ltd. Fonds, accession # 2000.1, which belongs to Northern BC Archives and Special Collections at the University of Northern British Columbia. The images will later be made available on the Archives’ online database at http://nbca.unbc.ca. They have been posted here for research purposes only. To request photo reproductions of these images please contact the Archives at archives@unbc.ca

Thank your for your time and assistance with this project!

To send comments about any of the photos below please be sure to include the caption that appears below each photo, so we know which one you are referring to, for example "#2. Bow Ties".

Megan Heitrich, UNBC student
Northern BC Archives & Special Collections
University of Northern British Columbia
Ph. (250) 960 – 5592

This page was last edited Wednesday, September 19, 2012

July 9, 2010
Cassiar Photo I.D. Project - To Be Continued!

Hello everyone! I am sad to say that this phase of the Cassiar Photo I.D. project has come to an end. We have appreciated all of your input on facebook, and your emails in response to Herb's "Cassiar...do you remember" website. The good news is that I will be carrying on with this project in the fall! Though I may not respond immediately to summer emails, I will be dedicating time to the identification of more Cassiar photos in September. In the meantime, please feel free to continue making use of the Library's Cassiar photo album. Once again, I appreciate your help and enthusiasm with this project. Thanks for everything, and enjoy your summer.

Megan Heitrich

On behalf of the Northern BC Archives we would like to extend a large thank you to the Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations Program, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canadian Council of Archives for their generous funding towards this project.


 NOTE from webmaster:
It is easier for users of facebook to send their comments via the library's facebook page as that is an interactive process, where you and see other comments people as well, which may be helpful with identification. That won't be happening here and this page, which needs to be edited manually.

Any comments with yellow background reflect information already posted by me and others on the library's facebook page, so you don't have to duplicate the effort.

Big Event

Cassiar Theatre

Bow Ties

Jack Christian, Frederick Martin Connell, W. Harold Connell, Charles Rainforth Elliott

Boys at Cassiar Table

Princesses at Cassiar Table


Director of Cassiar, representative of Turner and Newall, England. Photo taken at the Toronto Club.

Community Dinner

Sue Pewsey is in the middle and David Pewsey is to the right of her.

Fish on Shore

Well its clearly a river bank, not a lake.
The several large fish suggests to me that this was probably in the Telegraph Creek area, either the
Tahltan River or Stikine River where salmon and steelhead were caught.
by Herb Daum

Hand Shake

Far right, back row: Jack Christian
Shaking hands on left: George Smith?

Man in Asbestos

Man in Mountains

William "Bill" Storie. Bill was a long-time prospector in the Cassiar area.
Cassiar got a brand new high school that was completed only a few months before Cassiar closed in 1992. The school was aptly named the William
Storie School, after him. The school (or at least parts of it) was moved to Hudson's Hope, BC.
by Herb Daum

Mazza Machine

Operator Handling Asbestos

Reject Duty!
I worked in the mill itself for a while and I've also done what this man is doing, though I was wearing a hard hat and a respirator. The mill lab department performed quality control tests on fibre. If a batch of fibre was found to be below a certain grade then the batch was declared a "Reject". A worker, as shown here, then had to cut open the 100 pound bags and manually empty them into a bin and the fibre was sent through the mill again to be processed all over. It was tough work hoisting up a bag to shake out the fibre which has been packed in there under high pressure by the bagging machines. Sometimes there would be several pallets (one ton, 20 bags, four layers of five bags) of reject fibre. The fibre grades in Cassiar:
AAA, AA, A, AC, AK, AS, and AX
by Herb Daum


Artic Cat "Pantera" snowmobile, Kathy DeCecco reports it is her husband (deceased) on the snowmobile she bought for his Chistmas gift and photo was probably taken after Christmas 1977.

Boat on Lake

Canoe, on Boya Lake (previously known as "Chain Lakes")

Unknown Location

This is the Calumet townsite at the United Keno Hill Mines operations in the Yukon, probably around 1960. Photo looks to the east. Tramline (towers just below mine wast dump) goes down the hill to Elsa
by Scott Zimmer

Unknown Equipment 1

Fan in the mill?

Unknown Equipment 2

The diesel fired burners of the ore dryers. Note the large pipes with gate valves above the burners. That is the fuel supply system. It was fed directly from the company's fuel tank farm, a compound of huge diesel storage tanks that also fed the power house generators.

After preliminary crushing up the mine the ore was transported down to the plantsite by tramline and by truck. The ore was then fed to the dryer section of the mill where it got more crushing and then was fed into huge rotating cylinders. The burners and firebox created a huge blast of hot air that dried the ore as tumbled its way through. It was the large industrial version of a laundry clothes dryer. The ore was dried to a desired moisture content and was then sent to the huge dry rock storage building (I think the biggest structure in Cassiar), where it was stored and from where the mill obtained ore via a conveyor belt as required.
by Herb Daum

Unknown Equipment 3

The projector room in the Cassiar Recreational Centre. Shown here are a pair of "carbon arc" movie projectors. Film supply and take up reel were stored in the large pancake-shaped housings above and below the lens.
The ducting is to exhaust the fumes as the carbon rods are consumed in the process.

Unknown Room

I think this might be in the Cassiar mill, probably in the dust collection system. "Wheelabrators"?


One of the large Ruston Diesel generator sets in the Cassiar Power House being repaired. The Power House supplied electricity for the mine, the mill and plantsite and the townsite. Each of the two electric shovels and two electric drills in the mine would have one generator assigned to it.
By Jeff Laurie

Bill Plumb

Bill was Cassiar's chief geologist for many years.

Bill Plumb and Plane

Bill conducted numerous mineral exploration trips throughout the region. Note the yellow International Harvester pickup truck with "Cassiar Asbestos Corporation" painted on the door.

Geological Exploration


Note the bulldozer and the road it has carved into the mountain slope.

Red Hammer

A geologist's hammer. It was likely included in the photo to show scale of the rock & mineral formation being photographed.

Unknown Hill 1

Unknown Hill 2



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