McMicking & the Western Line Contract

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McMicking & the Western Line Contract

Postby Mark » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:30 pm

So, it looks like the section of line Francis Barnard billed the government for building, was not actually built by him in 1875-6. I imagine the work that he was referring to was clearing a right-of-way, but that area between Cache Creek and Kamloops is in the dry belt, not much in the way of trees to clear. This first image is a snip from the Canada Sessional Papers (volumes searchable on Google books), and shows the bill for work done on the line. Note that at the bottom, that the stringing of the wire gets separate mention (it had not been done), and that this bill is dated May 1876 for work being done and partially paid for in 1875.
Picture 1.png
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( Hope these pics are getting in here, not exactly sure how this thing works...this is my first attempt at a post)

Below, in May of 1875 (the last bottom few lines) Barnard indicates that the wire and poles can be placed with little additional effort.
lineNotBuilt.png
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So, it looks like Barnard never did build this line, as in this following list, about half-way down, you can see the date the line was finally built was in 1878, when the "Collins" line was totally re-built.
BCLinesList.png
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Now it gets interesting because the Collins line was rebuilt (at the same time as this branch line to kamloops) with threaded glass and different (shorter) pole spacing than the original 1865 line. The threaded glass used was EC&M's and the occasional fluted Cal.

Looks like I'll have to make a new post to ad some more pictures to this story...
Mark
 
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Re: McMicking & the Western Line Contract

Postby Mark » Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:49 pm

IMG_8401.jpg
Bert's type f record keeping
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Here's a snip of Bert Kirkland's meticulous record keeping of his excavation of the Collins line. He measured the distances between all the pole holes over aprox. 40 miles of line and assumed that the original 1865 line was built 70-71 paces apart with CD-735 Tillotsons, with Chesters and McMickings used as replacements. (the construction to the north of the Cariboo region used the Chesters) Then the whole line was re-built with 69 pace spacing using CD-123 EC&M's and CD-133 crebs as replacements. (The fluted Cal's turned up further to the south of where Bert did most of his work, in the dry belt)

So, I'm thinking that this branch line to Kamloops would be fairly easy to locate, being dry belt ranching country. Old maps from the 1870's indicate a trail/wagon road system on the north side of the river. Here's a snip.

1872thompson2.jpg
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And here's another snip of a different map, also showing a route on the north side of the river:

1872thompson.jpg
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I have not been able to find a detailed government survey map showing telegraph lines, I'm sure they must exist somewhere. I'm thinking that nobody has found the location of this branch line, although a fellow showed up at Bob Scafe's show in Merritt a couple years ago with a bunch of Collin's line type material he said he didn't dig, he "just kicked at the ground while walking his dog" and there they were. Sounds like dry belt area to me... Makes me want to spy on the guy and follow him to where he walks his dog... who knows, maybe he's joined this forum and is reading this post right now... But its unusual for a bunch of new Collins line material to be discovered so recently when the area was extensively searched 2-3 decades ago. Maybe not this branch line to Fort Kamloops. Aiden? Larrin? have you looked for this branch line?
Mark
 
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Re: McMicking & the Western Line Contract

Postby Aidan Morgan » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:37 pm

Hi Mark ,
As you may know I have been looking for any remains of this branch line from Cache Creek to Kamloops for the past 30+ years. I have found parts of CD 734 McMickings , CD 735 Tillotsons , CD 130.1 Cal Elec Works all within a few hundred yards of the Trans Canada Hwy. I found a small section this summer of about 6 pole spans , but in the 100+ temperature I only found a broken porcelain pony insulator. I'll have to go back in the spring before it gets too hot. :shock:
I've also been reading these Canada Sessonal Papers and think I may have some new areas to look over in the next year or so, very interesting when new information comes to light . :idea:
I'll post some pic's after I download them and try to remember how to post them. :roll:
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Aidan Morgan
 
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Re: McMicking & the Western Line Contract

Postby Aidan Morgan » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:05 am

Hi All ,
Here is what the country looks like on the branch line from Cache Creek to Kamloops. It was about 100* F when I took this pic in mid July.
P1000175.JPG
Branch line Cache Creek to Kamloops around Walhachin
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I found a couple of pole locations and one broken porcelain pony just down the hill from this spot, but it was just too hot and the rattle snakes were out too. I'll be back there next year as soon as I can before it gets to hot.

More pictures to come.

Aidan
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Re: McMicking & the Western Line Contract

Postby Mark » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:59 pm

I wonder if the branch line in question was still operated/maintained after the CPR started operating telegraph services along the same route, the ROW on the opposite side of the river. The government agreed to the selling/leasing of all telegraph lines to the CPR after the railway was installed, because of similar routes shared by competing companies. See attachment below.

cprTakeover.png
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The small 4-mile connecting line between Cache Creek (on the Collins' line) and Ashcroft( a CPR railway station) would have enabled messages to flow between Fort Kamloops and points east on the CPR telegraph, and the goldfields north, and points south (Yale, Vancouver, S.F.) on the Collins' line.
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