CONTRIBUTION · 26th March 2012
Yvonne Moen Terrace Library
In 1905, when white settlers started coming to the area, there were only one or two native families still residing permanently in the vicinity and one of these was the Charles Nelson family.
First they knew that someone else was in the area was when Emma and Charlie Nelson were out in their canoe, and saw smoke coming out of the bush near the site of the old Skeena Bridge.
It was from George Little's cabin, and Emma wondered at the time what anyone would want here, when there was nothing but bush.
The families living at Kitsumgallum left the valley each spring for the canneries at the lower Skeena. Charlie would be gillnetting during the salmon run, Emma worked in the canneries.
They would return back home in time to catch the last of the salmon run, smoke and dry meat caught on their traplines as well as berry picking, gathering and preparing of seafood traded while at the canneries, all this for the winter food supply.
After Charlie passed away, Emma worked for a few families in Terrace, as a housekeeper, washing clothes on a scrub board and scrubbing floors. Emma was a husky lady and was a very hard worker. Emma and Charlie raised nine children, daughters - Grace, Cecilia, Elizabeth, Josephine and Miriam, sons - Gordon, Charlie, Jr., Billy and Dave.
Emma (Starr) Nelson, was born in Port Simpson in 1854. She died in Terrace, BC on June 27, 1959 at the age of 105. Charles Nelson, Sr. was lame after he and his dogsled were lifted and thrown in a blinding snowstorm from the Grand Trunk Railway right of way by a snow plow. Charles Nelson died March 19,1930 at the age of 62.
All the Nelson children are gone now, but some of the relatives are still living at Kitsumgallum and Terrace. - Grandchildren: Rhoda Seymour, Winnie Wesley, Cissy Hare and Addie Turner, Gus Herbert Nelson, Roy Nelson and Sam Lockerby.
Cissy Hare is the oldest of the grandchildren and the only one born at Kalum. Addie and Roy were born at Port Essington during the fishing season. Emma Nelson reached the age of 105.
By Belle (Frank) Watt
Come walk with me by the Skeena
Just for an hour or so -
I'll tell you of Old Kalum,
And the life we used to know.
By the Kalum River Village
Where big salmon jump and play,
Chief Nelson and his wife lived there
Long before we came to stay.
Up the Skeena was Eby's Landing
Where riverboats brought in pioneers
A store, hotel and telegraph
Served the folks for just ten years.
Then the Grand Trunk Pacific whistled past,
And the sternwheelers ran no more;
We got our mail from the station,
And not dog teams as before.
Oh, the letters the bachelors wrote
To the Family's Herald's Primrose page;
And the lovely widows responded
Bringing in children of school age.
Rev. Marsh brought us his message,
His sweet wife nursed us when ill;
From T. Eaton we ordered our clothing
And managed without the pill.
I still see Hell's Gate canyon
Where the devil dared to play
His nasty tricks on riverboats,
As they would buckle, bend and sway.
And there's our Sleeping Beauty -
She's one who will never change;
While guarding our Skeena Valley,
She rests on yon mountain range.
Come and drive above our valley
And admire the beauty below,
And think again of those pioneers
Who made trails through these woods and snow.
Emma Nelson was known all over the country for her kind deeds & was loved by all. A great pioneer lady who did more than her part and has left golden memories to all her loved ones who she left behind
As a pioneer citizen who resided in BC before July 20, 1871, Emma Nelson is presented with this scroll.
Charles Nelson Sr., with Roy Nelson on his lap at Kitsumkalum. Harry Richmond and Charles Nelson Jr. are in the doorway (ca. 1925).
Potlatch - Before the Ban.
Charles and Emma Nelson family
Comment by Alfie McDames on 29th March 2012
It's amazing how much our Uncle Herbert Nelson looks like Charles Nelson. Uncle Herb lives in Quesnel.
Charlie & Emma Nelson family
Comment by yvonne moen on 28th March 2012
had a call from a friend yesterday to have a look at the Terrace Daily page- I am not sure who sent this in?? but in any case i have to say to all of Charlie & Emma Nelson family! I have been so blessed to have had the great privelege of having as my friends, Miriam, Sam, Winnie, Addie, Roy, uncle Bob, Bunny and dear Cissy. Cissy is now at Mills memorial waiting to make her move to Terraceview. I ask that God will bless her and keep her safe and keep on laughing Cissy- you are a dear lady- thank-you for the privelege to all- yvonne
Comment by Lori Merrill on 28th March 2012
Thank-you Yvonne....Enjoy your historical knowledge of the valley
Comment by James Wold on 27th March 2012
An inspiring story, I am sure there are more out there that could be told. It really make one feel how lucky we are to live in such a beautyfull valley.
Grandaughter of Dave and Priscilla Nelson
Comment by Cynthia on 27th March 2012
What a great Article! I am so proud to be part of this true heritage. Hello Auntie Cathy, nice to meet you!
I am aunty Cathy
Comment by Aunty Cathy on 27th March 2012
My father's mom told me this and my mom's aunty told me this over and over and over. I was happy to recieve a saucer and cup from granny. She said not to forget about our families, ever. Happy to see in print and also other family members remember too. Now people can stop saying that I am just making things up. I am family. Our ancestors created a pathway for us. So we can continue to make pathways for the future generations. Thank you very much, from Aunty Cathy :)