Skip to Content

Nanaimo, BC Landside Causes Many Death, July 1891

DEATH IN A LANDSLIDE.

ONE WHITE WOMAN AND FORTY INDIANS REPORTED KILLED.

Nanaimo, B. C., July 12. -- At 5:45 o'clock on the morning of July 7 those working at the North Pacific Cannery on Skeena River heard a great rushing sound in the direction of High Sleep Mountain, at the back of the cannery. In a moment an avalanche of rocks, earth, and trees was upon the doomed settlement, carrying everything before it into the slough close to the cannery.
In all, nine houses with their occupants were destroyed, including the messhouse and the house of the foreman of the cannery. In the messroom at the time of the catastrophe was the young Swedish wife of the foreman, and she was carried along in the deadly current. The foreman's name is NELSON or JOHNSON. He was formerly in charge of the British Columbia canneries.
The Indians claim that in the destroyed houses were forty Indians, all of whom were killed. Up to the time CHARLES HONERG, an eyewitness, left the scene, thirteen Indian bodies had been recovered, but the young Swedish woman could not be found. The slide missed the main cannery building by two feet, sixty Indians and the foreman thus closely escaping certain death. It had been raining heavily for four days previous to the slide, and it is thought that the accumulation of water in the ravines of the mountains caused the earth to give way.

The New York Times New York 1891-07-13



article | by Dr. Radut