LOCAL HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
Prince George and North Central BC
Lejac Case Study
This is a project under development. The idea here is to gather learning resources for teacher to use to build their own student study of Indigenous Residential Schools through a local case study -- the Lejac School that operated from 1922-1976 on Fraser Lake, BC. See more under the Truth and Reconciliation link in the Resources tab.
Teaching Kit for the deadly 1918 Flu in Prince George and area, prepared by the Northern BC Historical Archives at UNBC
Aerial view of Prince George, BC, 1958 (Exploration Place)
Mr. Peegee, the iconic "wood-man" of Prince George (made of fiberglass), and the noteworthy Pil Can from Ben Ginter's Tartan Brewery in Prince George
PG Folk Map
Prince George 1944. Note the WWII army camp at what is now 15th and Central, the general state of development, and the number of bridges. The meander scars (old courses of the Nechako River) are visible winding through downtown
Prince George 1957. Note the WWII army camp is mostly dismantled and fading into the forest. The John Hart Bridge is under construction, subdivisions have been added, and buildings can be seen at the site of what is now the jail east of the Fraser River.
The Loon Call
Here's a "Canadian Values Test" you can give to your class -- ask who can make a loon call. After your class goes chaotic for while, ask them where they learned it and when do they get a chance to use it. Ask about what other sounds define what it means to be a Canadian, and have them try to make these sounds. Works for the little ones all the way up to the too-cool Grade 12s. It's therapeutic. Here's an audio clip of a Social Studies 9 class giving it a try: loon_calls.m4a
John Fraser, son of explorer Simon Fraser, was buried in Barkerville.
Video - Grave of J.A. Fraser in the Barkerville Cemetery. As the story goes, Fraser headed west from Canada West (Ontario) to Barkerville after his father died without leaving much of an estate. John was a troubled soul, and hit rock bottom when his main claim appeared to be useless, the mortgage on his family farm back in "Ontario" was foreclosed, and he was rejected by the love of his life. He committed suicide in 1865, and it was during his funeral when news came out to the cemetery that his claim had struck it rich. Right place at the wrong time, I guess.
Check out this amazing collection of Barkerville backstories:
Bonepicker - Youtube page - @GoldRushBackstories
Exploring local history and geography can take many forms. Researchers and students can begin with a topic, or can simply dive into the research material and see what what they find. Once initial research is done, it is important to settle on a question. Based on Prince George and its region, here are some examples or areas or themes from which to derive questions:
- Early history or Indigenous peoples versus early history of pioneers and settlement
- Fur Trade era, railway and sawmill era, pulp mills and rapid growth era, modern era, etc.
- Early "characters" such as George Hammond, Charles Millar, Six Mile Mary, Granny Seymour
- Interesting mayors such as W.G. Gillette, Carrie Jane Grey, Harold Moffat
- What's in a name -- what are our local landmarks names after? What are the origins of these names and what does the naming of places suggest about the values present in society and authority at the time of naming?
- What are the Indigenous names for local landmarks? Are some of them in common use, or exist in an altered form? Mke use of the work by Bill Poser to identify Dakelh and Lheidli dialect names in our region
- How many languages are spoken in PG -- make connections to StatsCan demographic/census data
- Parks and their stories, e.g. Fort George Park / Lheidli Tenneh Memorial Park, Moore's Meadow, Ginter's Meadow, Cotttonwood Island, Duchess Park, Paddlewheel Park
- Streets and Roads, i.e. the history behind the names -- start with The Street Names of Prince George - Our History by Canadian Federation of University Women (2005 edition)
- Neighbourhoods or historic areas, e.g. South Fort George, Central Fort George, Downtown, Millar Addition, College Heights. Island Cache
- The Reserve at Shelley
- Local features, e.g. Connaught Hill, The Cutbanks, Hudson Bay Slough
- evolution of landscapes, layers of history, development and expansion, erasing vs preserving the past
- evolving use of greenspace and recreational space, how our community responds to need for recreation
- make use of historic map and air photos of Prince George
- housing, crime, homelessness, racial tolerance, development concerns, social services vs business in the downtown
- schools (elementary, secondary, college, university), hospital/health care, courts and policing, civic government
- sawmills, pulpmills, stores, oil refinery
- trains, planes, automobiles, paddlewheelers (plus scows and barges)
Fort St James