Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation
Box 1348 Tumbler Ridge, BC V0C 2W0
Contact: Dr Charles Helm, Vice President – 250 242
December 8, 2004
Tumbler Ridge matriarch Janet Hartford was rummaging
through a forgotten drawer in a basement cupboard when she came
two old black and white photographs she never knew she had. She
realized that they were of two of The Cascades in Monkman Provincial
Park, south of Tumbler Ridge, and that they had been taken in
1939 by Reg Leake, a professional photographer from Beaverlodge.
In fact Janet had been there herself that summer during the building
of the Monkman Pass Highway, and immediately recognized their
timeless historic value. The two photos overlapped, and had been
joined together to create a stunning image of mountain scenery.
Guy Moore, one of the Monkman pioneers, once wrote that these
falls were his favorite. In 1999 Tumbler Ridge’s Wolverine
Nordic and Mountain Society successfully applied to have the
falls officially registered as Upper Moore Falls and Lower
With the help of Gary and Brenda Holmlund, of Holmlund Exploration
Services, the photos were scanned, the major imperfections
were removed, and the resulting magnificent enlargedment
on high quality paper using the Holmlund’s new plotter.
The Holmlunds then gave one of the 50 x 25 cm prints to the
Hartfords, and one to the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation,
who will frame
and exhibit it.
These photos are unrepeatable today. They were made possible
in 1939 after an extensive fire had raged through what
is now Monkman Provincial Park. The resulting open areas allowed
photo to be taken. The rediscovery of these priceless images
provides another glimpse into the heroic attempts in the
1930s to carve a highway through these mountains, destroyed
by the outbreak of World War II.
The Cascades is one of the most unique and beautiful places
in the world, where Monkman Creek falls ten times in
succession, separated by lake-like widenings in the river. In
volunteers from the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society,
by BC Parks, improved trails around The Cascades and
constructed a rustic campsite on the banks of the creek just
of the ten falls.
Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation gratefully acknowledges
the generosity of Janet and George Hartford and Holmlund
for this donation.
Gary Holmlund of Holmlund Exploration Services, Tumbler Ridge
matriarch Janet Hartford,
and TRMF Vice President Charles Helm.