The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation recently came upon an exciting discovery. The oldest known maps of the Tumbler Ridge area, made in 1906, have been in the library of the American Geographical Society at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for almost a century. Thanks to the wonderful help of their staff, Jovanca Ristic and Chieko Maene, the relevant maps have been brought out of these collections, and digital copies made available to the TRMF.
Showing exquisite attention to detail, yet displaying some significant errors, these old maps make for fascinating scrutiny and form a priceless treasure. They were compiled by Robert W Jones, working for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in the summers of 1905 and 1906, searching for potential railway passes through our mountains.
They take the form of blueprints, with subsequent maps made from tracings by the American Geographical Society. They include the first known reference to a 215 foot high waterfall (now known as Kinuseo Falls) and the Wolverine River, Flatbed Creek and the Kiskatinaw River are shown as Stephens River, Rhubarb River and Mud River respectively.
The TRMF is in the process of developing an historic map exhibit in the Community Centre, to be opened in January 2005. These 1906 Jones maps will form an integral part of this permanent display.