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Searching for the Nasmyth Mill Site - Part 2

Photo Group 4

GROUP 5 Photo Descriptions

67. The Cypress Bowl Road was not the first road built on Hollyburn Ridge.

68. In the late 1930’s, the Heaps Logging Company built a road up the Ridge as far as the Nasmyth mill site.

69.When the provincial government closed down the logging operation, hikers & skiers rode trucks or drove private cars up the new road as far as the The Forks Store . . . .

70. . . . . seen here in this photo taken by Eric Cable in the mid-1940’s.

71. Shortly after World War II, Hi Colville purchased an army surplus bus and a halftrack . . .

72. . . . . which carried Hollyburners as far as the the “Old Mill” site, even in wintry conditions.

73. Recently, the road from the old Forks Store to the Nasmyth Mill site was reopened. BC Hydro uses this road to access Hydro towers on Hollyburn Ridge. In this photo, we see the road on its final approach to the Nasmyth Mill site just below the Cypress Bowl Road.

74. The small yellow sign just visible at centre-left marks the point where the “Old Mill” service road meets the Cypress Bowl Road. An upper part of the Rodgers Creek ravine is seen down the road to the right.

75. The Cypress Bowl Road roadbed covers much of the former Nasmyth Mill site, including the location of the ski camp restaurant run by Eilif Haxthow and his Scandinavian partners.

76. Note the highlighted rocky slope a few metres west of the Rodgers Creek ravine.

77. In this photo taken about 1950, part of the Rodgers Creek ravine can be seen behind the pile of snow on the right.

78. This is a photo of Pollough Pogue’s cabin at the Nasmyth, taken during the summer of 1926. Pogue is at the far left wearing a toque. In his article, “The Creek”, Pogue wrote, “My cabin stands on the edge of the little draw down which the creek hurries after it leaves the storage pond. Soon the defile grows deeper and more rugged; the creek thunders among big rocks and plunges in white cataracts and steaming cascades down miniature precipices. Every night during the continuing rain since last fall and early winter the creek’s heavy roar booming above the steady wash of the rain, composed my mind to sleep.” In the background is a steep, shaded slope, most likely the western side of Rodgers Creek.

79. The significance of the 2500-foot level in relationship to the location of the Nasmyth Mill is evident in the following slides.

80.In several articles, including “The Cabin”, Pollough Pogue noted that the Nasmyth Mill site was located at the 2500-foot level on Hollyburn Ridge.

81. The 1935 West Vancouver map indicates the Nasmyth Millpond was about 30 feet below the 2500 foot contour line.

82. In this section of the Cypress Provincial Park Hiking Map published in September 2014, the 740 metre contour line, equivalent to 2,430 feet, is high-lighted in red. A red dot marks the location HHS has identified as that of the former site of the Nasmyth Mill, later referred to by Hollyburners as the “Old Mill Site”. No other location on that contour line fits the information we have seen regarding the Nasmyth Mill site.

83. Since 1925, three names have been used to identify the heritage building that is near and dear to many Hollyburners.

84. The first commercial ski operation on the North Shore Mountains, often referred to as the “Ski Camp at the Old Mill Site” opened for business shortly after New Year’s Day in 1925. By 1932, there was little trace of the mill.

85. During the fall of 1926, the ski camp restaurant was dismantled and rebuilt near the western shore of First Lake, where it was renamed the Hollburn Ski Camp. It officially opened for business on Sunday, January 16th, 1927.

86. During the next 88 years, the Hollyburn Ski Camp, later named Hollyburn Ski Lodge by the Burfields, and Hollyburn Lodge by Cypress Mountain provided services for winter sports enthusiasts.

87. On June 2nd, 2015, Hollyburn Lodge was dismantled to make way for a renewed Hollyburn Lodge, to be rebuilt in the image of the old lodge. The rebuild will include underground utility lines, which open up the possibility of a 4-season operation. More information about the Hollyburn Lodge 2015 Renewal Project may be found on Home page of this website.

To conclude, have a second look at the Rodgers Creek video at the top of this web page, and see it with a new set of eyes.

GROUP 4 Photo Descriptions

42. We will now compare historic photos of the Nasmyth Mill site with photos taken in 2015 and try match features from the past with those visible in the present.

43. The upper reaches of Rodgers Creek are seen in this image from Google Maps. Note the obvious curve in the creek. At the bottom, the creek flows into a tunnel goes under the Cypress Bowl Road near the third hairpin turn.

44. In this photo taken just west and about 100 metres downhill from the third hairpin turn, the upper part of a ravine cut by Rodgers Creek is visible behind the white tree trunks at centre-right.

45. Here is close-up view of Rodgers Creek.

46. This photo was taken on the east side of Rodgers Creek about 80 metres north of the Cypress Bowl Road. The canyon walls on the west side of the creek are clearly visible. Try to trace the brow of the hill in the background. In his article, “The Creek” published in 1926, Pollough Pogue wrote, “Above my camp the creek emerged from a little canyon with granite walls from fifteen to twenty feet high.”

47. This photo was taken on the east side of Rodgers Creek about 120 metres north of the Cypress Bowl Road. Again, trace the brow of the hill in the background . . . . . .

48. . . . . . and compare it with the brow of the hill seen in the background of this colour-coded version of a photo seen earlier. The upper part of the Rodgers Creek ravine is behind the hiker is clearly defined.

49. Here is a colour-coded version of a photo seen earlier. Again, note the log dam that was built to create the Nasmyth millpond. The colour-coding enables us to see more clearly the upper part of the ravine cut by Rodgers Creek in the left foreground, and, on the right, behind behind the dam, the millpond basin.

50. In this photo, the two logs seen atop a large rock are most likely the remnants of the Nasmyth millpond dam. The smaller, upper logs have long since disappeared.

51. The person seen standing on the upper log gives us a better sense of the size of the two remaining logs and the large rock beneath them.

52. This is a view of Rogers Creek ravine from the upper log of the dam looking southward towards the Cypress Bowl Road.

53. This photo was taken high on the west side of the ravine looking northeastward. Compare this photo taken in 2015 . . . .

54. . . . . with this photo of the Nasmyth mill taken in 1925.

55. A side-by-side comparison of the two photos reveals similarities in the terrain.

56. A couple of metres north of the Nasmyth millpond dam are man-made artifacts that are most likely linked to the dam or the flumes seen previously.

57. This is a photo of the same artifacts from a viewpoint further upstream.

58. We will now look at a feature located at the northern edge of the millpond. Compare this photo, taken in 1925 . . . .

59. . . . . with this photo taken in 1929. Rodgers Creek would have flowed into the millpond around the point of land seen on the left.

60. Here is another photo at that point of land taken in the early 1930’s. By that time the mill pond had drained, most likely because the smaller, upper logs of the dam had weakened to the point where they could no longer hold back the water, and were washed downstream.

61. Here is a contemporary photo of the same area. Note the point of land on the left bank of Rodgers Creek.

62. Here is that point of land seen from a different perspective. Rodgers Creek is just visible through the tree branches on the right.

63. Another view of that point of land from a viewpoint upstream looking south. Notice how Rodgers Creek curves to the left around this feature.

64. That curve is easily seen in the image from Google Maps. 

65. About 50 metres north of that point of land, Rogers Creek divides into two tributaries. The branch on the right flows from slopes below First Lake; the branch on the left flows from a drainage area southeast of the Cypress Mountain works yard . . . 

66. . . . as is evident is evident in the 1996 map.






Photo Group 5