Maurelle History


I received an email from a forestry consultant working on Maurelle Island. He was seeking information on the history of settlement on the island. I could not help, but his email and photos are here. If a reader has any information, I could forward it. Send mail to the Webmaster

Hello Graeme!

Lots of good info and humour in your blog. I am trying to solve mysteries and puzzles I have encountered on Maurelle Island. I would also like to know the history of logging and settlement. We are of similiar vintage and since I am sure you explored Maurelle Island from time to time, I would appreciate your comments.

I am a forestry consultant and I have been working at Maurelle Island on and off since January. Assessing road stability, seeking legal corners etc. I am amazed at what came before. My base maps shows old roads. Some are now indistinguishable , others are still solid and easily traversed. I am particularly puzzled by very narrow right of ways (1 to 2m) wide that have been excavated through rock slopes and swamps. They remind me of ox roads I have seen in other parts of the coast, yet they are a bit different. On sections of these narrow trails are steel grids that seem to have been cast aside. The appear to interlock and are about 1-1/2m wide (photo attached).

There are at least 4 distinct road building events.

The first may be these narrow trails, easily 80 years +

The second are more like cat roads although, generally, with good grades and alignment. These are probably 75 to 80 years old.

The third are truck roads that are likely 40 years old (1950's to 60's)

The fourth are recent roads less than 10 years old (Western Forest Products or contractors).

Can you comment on these roads? Did your father truck haul or cat skid to the beach?? (I did note your pictures of the cat and tracked arch).

The original survey notes (1915) show parts of the main valley (drains to Surge Narrows) as "meadow". This is very euphimistic, since today, we would refer to it as swamp or wetland. I am curious if the old split cedar house and orchard we found on the edge of this swamp was the result of some European who took the survey notes literally. Must have been a hard life! I estimate that the last time the apple trees were pruned was in the 1940's. Huge Douglas Fir and Spruce now obstruct what used to be a beautiful view across this wetland to the rock bluffs on the west side of the valley. Do you know anything about this homestead??.

There are three larger lakes on the island. I have been to the "boomerang" shaped lake but not Caroline or May Lakes further north. Does this first lake have a name ?? Are there fish in them?

If you could answer any of these questions or if you could steer me to some place or person who would know the history of this island, I would be in your debt.

Thanks for your time!!

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