These photos show Fred Pepper and his dog sled team in the early-1920s. Pepper built the original cabin at Glacier Circle – the first backcountry cabin in Glacier National Park. He used the dogs to help bring supplies back and forth in the snowy winter.

Re-enacting the 1885-86 dog sled mail run

Parks Canada honouring historic dog sled mail run with dog sled rides and more in Glacier National Park this Saturday, Dec. 3.

Almost everyone’s heard of the Pony Express. For 18 months in 1860 and 1861, horseback riders delivered mail across the plains, deserts and mountains of the western United States, greatly reducing the communication time between the coasts before the telegraph lines were finished.

Canada never had a Pony Express but an even bolder mission was undertaken to deliver mail to Rogers Pass during the winter of 1885-86. The train through the Pass was completed in the fall of 1885 but heavy snowfalls and hazardous avalanches closed the Pass during the winter.

Still, the mail had to be delivered through the pass in order to make it across the country. Trains could get as far as Donald, B.C., and, later, Canmore, Alta., but the snow prevented them from travelling further.

The solution? Teams of dog sleds would carry the mail once a month through the mountains to Farwell (now Revelstoke) and then return the other way.

Major Cunningham was awarded the contract to run dog sled teams through the pass. He was paid $100 per round trip. Each run took about a month to complete.

Cunningham hired two people – Hall and Lang (their first names are unknown) – to run the dog trains through the harsh winter weather. Little else is known about their experiences.

The dogs ran until April 1886, when spring came. The following winter, newly constructed snow sheds allowed trains to pass through Rogers Pass during winter and the mail run was discontinued.

This Saturday, Dec. 3, Parks Canada is honouring the brave runs of Hall and Laing by hosting dog sled rides at the Asulkan winter trail head in Glacier National Park.

While there won’t be a full dog sled run through Rogers Pass from Revelstoke to Donald, Parks will be offering dog sled rides, snow shoeing, a bonfire and more.

The 15-minute rides will loop from the trailhead to the Wheeler Hut and historic Glacier House and back. Eric Marsden of Revelstoke Dogsled Adventures will provide the rides.

To reserve a ride, contact Megan Long at Parks Canada at 250-837-7551.

Events take place from 1-3 p.m.

Note: Special thanks must be given to Parks Canada for providing the research for this story.

 

Just Posted

Schools placed in ‘hold and secure’ following RCMP incident

An incident in the community cause all three local schools to be… Continue reading

Bear’s Paw Heights sparks public commentary

A public hearing for rezoning at Bear’s Paw Heights, on Selkirk Hill,… Continue reading

Rockets defeat Rebels and Thundercats

The Golden Rockets took on the Castlegar Rebels January 11 on home… Continue reading

House concerts return at Bacchus Books with BMC Organ Trio

Golden Star Staff Bacchus Books is bringing back its humble but powerful… Continue reading

Derina Harvey Band brings Celtic rock and non traditional folk to Golden

Golden Star Staff Offering a fresh take on Celtic rock and traditional… Continue reading

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Crowsnest Pass RCMP seek help locating missing man

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read