Terrace, British Columbia

From Academic Kids

Terrace is a forestry dependent community on the Skeena River in British Columbia, Canada. Tsimshian people have lived in the area for thousands of years. The community has a population 12,109 with a regional population of 19,980 (Statistics Canada, 2001) (http://www12.statcan.ca/english/profil01/Search/PlaceSearch1.cfm?SEARCH=BEGINS&LANG=E&Province=59&PlaceName=terrace). The community vies with Prince Rupert as a regional hub for the North Coast. It is the seat of the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District.

The community has been hit hard by the problems of the biggest local employer, the former Skeena Cellulose. The mill is now owned by local owners and is scheduled to open sometime after June 30, 2005. With a possible oil pipeline that would run through Terrace, as well as the recent announcement of a major container port expansion project in nearby Prince Rupert, the economic situation appears to have a brighter future.

The community sits on the CN rail line and the Yellowhead Highway.

The First Nations of Canada have inhabited Northwest BC for over 5,000 years. This region is one of the oldest continuously occupied regions of the world and, long before European contact, was one of the most densely populated areas north of Mexico. Kitsumkalum and Kitselas are two of seven Tsimshian tribes in the Terrace area that has occupied traditional territories in northwest British Columbia. The Skeena River was known initially as the "K'shian" river meaning "water from the clouds. The traditional economy of the Tsimshian Nation was based on hunting, fishing and social gatherings, for domestic consumption or trade, on their traditional lands. For the Native people, the Skeena River was used for transportation, communication, war, trade, as a source of food and at times for protection. In 1866 the steamer Mumford made it as far as Kitsumkalum with supplies for the Telegraph line. It took an average of three days to travel from Port Essington (at the mouth of the Skeena River, near Prince Rupert) to Hazelton.

George Little

A man with a "Little" vision and big dreams arrived in the Skeena River valley in March 1905 by snowshoeing through grueling deep snow along the Kitimat trail. George Little liked what he saw and knew that this land was indeed the land that he was searching for since he left his native Ontario. His keen interest and faith in Terrace were contagious and soon gave way to a flood of pioneer settlers. Eventually, resulting in a thriving city that respects the man who founded Terrace who recognized the potential of the Skeena Valley.

The riverboats operated on the Skeena for only 22 years. The last boat The Inlander finished up in September 1912, when the railroad took over. Fitting nicely into his vision of Terrace, George Little donated forty-seven acres (190,000 m²) to the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Little established a sawmill to accommodate the demand for railway ties. In 1955, Little rode the first C.N.R. train to Kitimat passing over the same route he had trekked one half century earlier.

Old Skeena Bridge

The Old Skeena Bridge officially opened July 1925, halting the use of the Ferry Island ferry service to Thornhill Creek. In 1944, the Skeena River highway between Terrace and Prince Rupert was ceremoniously opened with a convoy of Canadian and American Army bands that were part of the troops stationed here during WW2. Terrace could now easily transport to anywhere in British Columbia.

Terrace was once known as the cedar pole capital of the world. Over 50,000 poles were manufactured annually to supply many parts of North America with telephone and electric power poles. The world's tallest pole of 50 metres (162 feet) was cut in Terrace and is currently standing in New York City. For many years, logging has been the major industry in the region. In modern times, Terrace's economy has diversified. Becoming less dependent on one large employer/industry, the city boasts a balanced economy, one, which is effectively equipped to withstand the brunt of any cyclic downturn.

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