Margaret Campbell, a nurse in northern Alberta, visited her sister in Beaverlodge in the summer of 1938. While there, she took a trip across the Monkman Pass on the newly minted Highway. It is our good fortune that this lady (my mother) collected the newspaper clippings, pamphlet and other memorabalia and saved it all in her scrapbook. All these items have made possible this particular memory of the Monkman Pass Project.
It was an amazing project, too: a dream of opening the Peace River Region to the world through the Monkman Pass. Because it was the 1930s, and there were plenty of men who would work for food and lodging, and because the settlers of that area were - indeed - pioneers, a road was built. If it was rough and not to standard, it is also true that no other government or association has matched the result those people attained, on their own, back in the Depression.
You will note that within a year of Margaret Campbell's trip over the Monkman Pass, Canada was at war: the men left for other fields and other jobs, and the Monkman Pass Highway dream remained just that, a dream.
And here is a transcription of her diary of her trip:
Mrs Chard, Aileen, Bert, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Moore and Mr. and Mrs. Smith leave with Rudolf Jacobs for Monkman Pass. Stay from Monday until Saturday.
Monday - To Stony Lake. A rather cold day with showers. Rode in the back of Rudolf's big truck. Stayed in a cabin at Stony. Played bridge. Poured rain all night and cabin leaked.
Tuesday - to Kinuseo River. Truck got mired in mud twice. Walked two miles to Kinuseo River and made supper. Went to camp two miles beyond in truck. Slept in tent.
Wednesday - Up early to go to Murray Falls. Walked six miles over pack trail to camp. Had dinner there. Over Tarzan's Boulevard to Falls. Home around nine o'clock.
Thursday - to Stony Lake. Fished and to bed.
Friday - Car broke down on Liberty Heights. Camped at Little Prairie with ex convict. Slept in the truck.
Saturday - Aileen and I walked almost to Rio Grande - 20 miles. The rest came by truck. Others were very worried about us. We went off the trail for supper. Home at 8:30 p.m. Packed. Went to G.P. (Grande Prairie) with Chards and then to Sexsmith with Sumners.
Note that the rest of this story of the Monkman Pass Project is a transcription of a pamphlet produced by the MPHA, "promoting the non-ferry connection link on the coast-to-coast highway through the great Peace River Country"Back to the beginning of this story!
List of People in the MPHA
Facts about the Monkman Pass Project (1)
Monkman Pass Highway Association (2)
"It is Urged:" (3)
Some Features of the Monkman Pass Route (4)
"Of National Appeal" (5)
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