Stories & Voices of the Valley


Stories of early dwellers, long term residents, changing road names, hunting and Trapping, agriculture and mining. White Pass, Cowley Station and more . . .

Interview Transcripts:

Ian and Betty Campbell, Bill Thomson: The Carcross-Atlin Mail Run, Bill Thomson: Johnny Johns – Wild Trails, Marie Chouinard, Shiela Alexandrovich

Shiela Alexandrovich

. . . but I knew it the minute I came here. Like the first time I came down here, I knew this was where I was going to live and this was where I was going to stay. There was never a question about it. And over the years the Co-op’s moved in formation all kinds of ways. So there’s been people in and out, and couples come together and come apart, and this and that, and it never occurred to me, ever, to leave. My daughter in Calgary sometimes asks me, actually more than sometimes, “What happens when you get old and you can’t do it all up there? Then what? We’re going to worry about you!” And still the thought of leaving just isn’t there.

So, maybe it’s the confluence of the three valleys that meet here, there’s a river running through it. It’s a fresh place in the sense that there’s always air movement – it’s never stagnant. Water was key – I didn’t want to be anywhere there wasn’t a water source, so that’s a really big one. It’s dynamic – we’re 60 km, 60 miles from the coast, so we get a lot of coastal weather. It comes up our side, the inside of Grey Ridge up the Wheaton, so our weather is very different from the other side of the mountains. It’s quite a different zone for weather, and I built a masonry stove in ’93 and had to check out earthquake zones, and Grey Ridge is the dividing point between a zone 5 and zone 6. So it’s where two tectonic plates meet, so this is very much the coastal mountains, the start of it, and the other side of the mountains is not. So there’s something about that too, that is just, I find just so intriguing. ~ Read the full interview: Shiela Alexandrovich

Special Edition Newsletter – 25 Years and more in the Community of Mt. Lorne

Here are some excerpts, for the complete story check out the Special Edition Newsletter April 2013

Claire packing hose


In August 1998 we got out first taste of fighting a wildland fire down the Annie Lake Road. Of course the YTG crew was in command of the fire but we helped supply water. I remember Claire, who lived nearby, asked the crew to bring her gear from the fire hall and meet her at the scene. She drove to the scene in her own vehicle and didn’t have time to roll up her windows. So when the water bombers dropped that red retardant and the wind blew it a bit . . .

Atlin – Carcross Mail Run

So I’m sworn in as the official mail carrier for the dog sled group, and now we gotta start organizing a trip. At the very outset I’d like to point out that this was not a race. This was just nothing other than a good will, friendly trip for dog sledders. So we decided that we would try and follow the old mail route, and we went over Striker’s Pass. Well, Striker’s Pass was terrible. I mean, anybody that thought that they were gonna go on an easy trip should think again, because it was a terrible, terrible trip.

Bill Thomson

Diane and Rick

Getting to Work in the Winter of 1982

After breakfast, Rick prepares to go start the truck. He grabs the 20 lb tank of propane and the tiger torch. Three lengths of stove pipe are already under the truck, with the elbow pointing at the oil pan. He fires up the tiger torch, sticks it in the end of the stove pipe, lets it run full blast for 15 minutes, watching all the while to make sure it doesn’t set the truck on fire. After 15 minutes he heads into the house, grabs the battery, runs back to the unheated bare-bones garage, hoping that the tiger torch hasn’t set the truck on fire. He puts the battery in the truck, shuts off the torch, and prays that the truck will start. Good truck, it starts! He takes off the sleeping bag that was laid over the hood and carefully wraps it around the engine under the hood to help preserve the heat of the engine. He goes back in the house to have the last cup of coffee while the truck warms up.


The dirt pile at LMCC

2005 Governor General Adrienne Clarkson visits LMCC