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Yarrow, British Columbia

Edited by
Esther Harder, Edwin Lenzmann, and Elmer Wiens

Majuba Hill

by
Chester Brown and Elmer Wiens

Elmer Wiens and Chester Brown - August 1, 2009
Elmer Wiens and Chester Brown - August 1, 2009

An excerpt of this page is reprinted on the web page of the Vancouver Sun in its BC150—Celebrating Our Diversity—series.

Majuba Hill
Siddall   |   Maitland   |   Wiensz

Vedder Mountain

Siddall Family

The following picture shows Wilson Road's junction with Yale Road at Siddall's on the Vedder Mountain side of Yarrow Station, during the 1930's. Knox's farm sits across the railway tracks and to the left (west) of Wilson Road heading due north. Yale Road (Majuba Hill Road) runs to the left (west) and to the right (east). Today, Yale Road running east is a heritage site called the "Old Yale Wagon Road," known locally as "Lovers Lane." The small house seen in the picture just above Siddall's house was known locally as the "Sugar Shack" during the 1960's. Chilliwack Mountain rests in the distant background, south of the Fraser River.

Siddall's Store, Post Office, and House
Siddall's Store, Post Office, and House, circa 1935
Photograph Courtesy of Frank Parker

In his history of the Chilliwack area post offices, Cecil Coutts states that Ella (Eva Elmina) Siddal succeeded James Hounsome on the recommendation of Elihu Manuel, a Liberal politician. Bill and Ella's house and store were ideally located for a post office. In 1928, Yale Road was the main highway, and Siddall's store prospered with the influx of immigrants. Eventually, the post office was moved to the "north side of the Siddall home" facing the railway tracks and Yarrow Station (Coutts 111-12).

Bill and Ella Siddall,  circa 1945
Bill and Ella Siddall, circa 1945
Photograph Courtesy of Frank Parker

Yarrow Pioneers lived far away from commercial entertainment in Chilliwack, New Westminster, and Vancouver. A few lines from a poem by Ella Siddall to her friend Elizabeth Brown capture a typical Yarrow Pioneer evening.

In the post office all day, nights by the fire,
Listening to the radio Will never seems to tire.
But I'm not content to just sit and think,
I hustle with dinner, dishes piled in the sink.

I get out my knitting and take down a book
A few pages I turn, at the pictures I look.
Restless in the evenings when I've nothing to do,
But the washing, or ironing, or mending to sew.

But, the thing I hate most is having to cook,
When the library van's left a really good book!

by Ella Siddall
Library Van at Siddall's General Store
Library Van at Siddall's General Store
Photograph Courtesy of Ray Parker

William and Ella Siddall's children were Vivian and Arthur.

Ella Siddall with Vivian and Arthur,  circa 1922
Ella Siddall with Vivian and Arthur, circa 1922
Photograph Courtesy of Frank Parker

The dwellings of Majuba Hill and Yarrow's pioneers were often rough and ready, constructed from logs and cedar shakes cut from local timber. Lumber was hewn by hand, cut at a small sawmill on Majuba Hill, or brought in by train to Yarrow Station and then dragged by a team of horses to the building site (Klaassen 110).  Outbuildings were similarly, but more roughly built.

Walter and Cora Haley's Mountain Cabin
Walter and Cora Haley's Mountain Cabin
Photograph Courtesy of Ray Parker
Arthur Siddall's Mountain Cabin
Arthur Siddall's Mountain Cabin
Photograph Courtesy of Ray Parker
Wedding of Jeanette McFettridge and Arthur Siddall

Bill and Ella Siddall provided postal services from the Wilson-Yale Road junction until 1948, when Bill Siddal built a new Post Office east of the Yarrow Elementary School in downtown Yarrow.

Bill Siddall at the new Yarrow Post Office - 1948
Bill Siddall at the new Yarrow Post Office — 1948
Photograph Courtesy of Ray Parker
Siddall Family at Yarrow Station - 1948
Siddall Family at Yarrow Station — 1948
Photograph Courtesy of Ray Parker


In 1952, John Kehler (1920-1989) assumed the responsibilities of postmaster.

Chester Brown writes, "By 1929, Yarrow consisted of a station on the B.C. Electric rail line, a post office, and country store. Yarrow was a community of perhaps a dozen homes with a medical doctor. The Knox farmstead existed in the immediate vicinity, while several families were established on Majuba Hill within a mile west of Yarrow."

Majuba Hillcrest United Church Congregation,  circa 1925
Majuba Hillcrest United Church Congregation, circa 1925
Rev. R.A. Redman and congregation: Charles & Julia Sabo, Fred & Maybelle Maitland, Chauncey & Frances Eckert,
Ralph Golder, Eva Siddall, Julia Wittenberg, Cora Haley and several unidentified people.
Photograph Courtesy of Frank Parker

Majuba Hill (Hillcrest) School was built in 1903 a half-mile west of Yarrow to serve the Vedder River Flats and Majuba Hill. The building also housed the Hillcrest United Church until WW II (Harms 103-108). After the Hillcrest School closed in 1928, the building served until the mid 1930's as a community hall, with Saturday night dances.

Peter Wasylenchuck, Charlie Szabo, Chester Brown, Sonny Manuel, Anenetta Brown, Ada Manual, Helen Wasylenchuk
Peter Wasylenchuck, Charlie Szabo, Chester Brown, Sonny Manuel
Annetta Brown, Ada Manuel, Helen Wasylenchuk — 1934
Photograph Courtesy of Chester Brown

In Yarrow: A Portrait in Mosaic, Agatha Klaassen quotes Ella Siddall's recollections of the pioneers of Majuba Hill. John Broe and his family were among the early Majuba Hill pioneers. The Broes cleared land for an orchard and dairy cows, also raising chickens and pigs. The Broes homestead was the "centre of many a lively party for their mountain neighbours."

The Broes sold their Vedder Mountain farm to the Strombergs, who sold it to the Szabos in 1931. Julia (Szabo) Wittenberg and Charlie were Szabo children.

Majuba Hill People
Majuba Hill People
Photograph Courtesy of Ray Parker


Vivian Siddall and Friends
Vivian Siddall and Friends
Photograph Courtesy of Ray Parker

Ella Siddall writes, "There was a sizeable community that stretched along Majuba Hill on Old Yale Road. There were the Bellrose Family, at the foot of Majuba Hill Road West, and the Towns at the point above Sinclair Siding, the DeGraws, the Dickies, the Mallards, the Golders, the Olsens, the Maitlands, and the Knox Family on Wilson Road South at the foot of Vedder Mountain" (Klaassen 108).

The members of the Knox family were prominent citizens of the community of Yarrow, built on the one thousand acres of land Joseph and Margaret Knox sold to C.E. Eckert.  Joseph and Margaret had two children, George Marshall and Mary Elizabeth.

George and Henrietta Knox  - Edith Caroline and Ethel Irene
George and Henrietta Knox
Edith Caroline and Ethel Irene
Photograph Courtesy of Ethel and Edith Kox

George Marshall married Henrietta Kirkpatrick; their children were Ethel and Edith. Mary Elizabeth married James Cameron; their children were Muriel and Gordon.

Ellas Siddall's poem to her friend Elizabeth Brown describes her visit to her Knox friends and neighbours.

Our neighbours, the Knoxs, live over the track,
Their house renovated with nothing to lack.
The bathroom, laundry, and pantry fresh made,
New covers on floors in the whole house are laid.

The kitchen's cupboards are painted white,
The florescent lighting makes everything bright.
New dining room set, and china cabinet too,
New living room chesterfield, large, bright and blue.

Walls in shades delicate fairly are tinted,
I tell you, my friend, nothing was stinted.

by Ella Siddall


Mennonite settlers who displaced the Majuba Hill pioneers shared a communal focus on the Mennonite churches under the mountain.   Much like Vedder Mountain overshadows Yarrow during the winter months, eventually the "Gemeinde" that arose in "Yarrow Proper" from the influx of Mennonite settlers overshadowed the Majuba Hill community in importance.

Furthermore, the secular activities of these residents shifted as Mennonite entrepreneurs developed thriving businesses in Yarrow (Neufeldt "Business").   For example, in 1929 Johann Derksen became the third Yarrow proprietor of a general store, with the first being Joseph Knox, and the second being William Siddall.  Henry Sukkau, who arrived in Yarrow from Alberta in 1932, was another prominent Yarrow businessman.  Sukkau established his commercial venture at the corner of First Avenue and Central Road, which by 1936 consisted of "a general store and an automotive service garage as well as his electrical business" (Neufeldt "Sukkau" 154).

Johnny Wittenberg at Yarrow Electric -  1936
Johnny Wittenberg at Yarrow Electric — 1936
Photograph Courtesy of Chester Brown

"For a few decades, however, Majuba Hill was home to a vibrant, close-knit community" (Harms 107).

Mabel Jones, Ada Manuel, Ray Rexford, Vivian Siddall, Annetta Brown, Margaret Maitland, Marion Rexford, Myrtle Bassett
Mabel Jones from Sumas Prairie, Ada Manuel, Ray Rexford, Vivian Siddall, Annetta Brown, Margaret Maitland
In Front: Marion Rexford, Myrtle Bassett — 1934
Photograph Courtesy of Chester Brown

Along with the entrepreneurial Siddall's, Yarrow's farmers and commercial concerns utilized the B.C. Electric Rail Line to bring in commodities, machinery, and equipment, and to ship agricultural products and finished goods. In the early 1940's, C.C. Funk built his Feed Supply Mill east of Siddall's store, adjacent to the tracks across from Yarrow Station.

Yarrow Station with Funk's Feed Supply
Yarrow Station with Funk's Feed Supply
Photograph Courtesy of Ray Parker

Sports contribute an integral component to the life of a community. During the 1930's and early 1940's, Yarrow's softball teams played their recreational and league matches on the grounds of the Yarrow School situated in downtown Yarrow.  Yarrow's young, pioneer athletes were victorious in many games played on the diamond at the school ground's northwest corner.

Elmer Wiens writes, "Hank the Barber relates the feats of my Uncle Julius Derksen, who played for Yarrow's softball team before he enlisted in the military. Hank claims that 'Juicy' frequently hit homeruns over the fence in left field, a muscular, heavy hitter and scrapper regardless of his relatively small stature."

Yarrow's Softball Team Banquet
Yarrow's Athletic Association Banquet — 1948/49
"Prince", Cornie Sukau, Eddie Froese, Johnny Giesbrecht, Hank Froese, Johnny Hepting, Henry Hepting
Len Froese, Steve Szabo, ______, Doug Corbough, Fred Heinrichs, Pete Nightingale, Harry Fast
_______, ______, Fast
Names Courtesy of Johnny Giesbrecht
Photograph Courtesy of Arthur Siddall

While the U.S.A. Prohibition period from 1920-1933 on "the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol for consumption" virtually destroyed the American hop industry, it created a bonanza for Canadian hop growers.

Canadian Hop Yards, Sumas Prairie
Canadian Hop Yards, Sumas Prairie
Photograph Courtesy of the Ord Family Album

The American Henry Norton Ord, a joint partner of Canadian Hop Yards, and owner of Ord hop fields on Sumas Prairie (Fuggle Hop Garden) and in Kamloops, built a mansion on the western portion of Majuba Hill overlooking Sumas Prairie and western Yarrow.

Ord Family's Majuba Hill Home
Ord Family's Majuba Hill Home
Photograph Courtesy of the Ord Family Album

Chester Brown recalls the Ord family arriving each summer from California in their chauffeur driven limousine for their summer retreat, to join Mr Ord while he managed his Canadian assets. The family of Mrs Ord, Helen Huntington Holladay, had almost a century of experience growing hops. She took over running the company when Henry Ord died in 1955, selling the Sumas fields to John I. Haas, but keeping the Kamloops hop yard (Sleigh 266-67).   Numerous young, Mennonite men from Yarrow, who relocated to Kamloops each fall to work in the hop yards, enjoyed their freedom from parental censure in "worldy ways."

Helen and Harry Ord
Helen and Harry Ord
Photograph Courtesy of the Ord Family Album

Helen and Henry Ord had three children, Edmund, John and Caroline.

George and Ann Wasylenchuk (c. 1890-1966) lived on the mountain side across the road from the Ords. Their children were Mary, John, Nick, William, Helen, and Peter.

Ada Manuel on Majuba Hill
Ada Manuel on Majuba Hill — 1935
Photograph Courtesy of Chester Brown


Maitland Family

Margaret (Maitland) Bigmore writes, "In 1910, Fred and Mabel Maitland moved from their 5 acre farm in Chilliwack to Majuba Hill, with their three year old daughter, Evelyn. They bought the William and Mary Jane Chadsey farm, with orchards, barns and farmhouse. Mabel (Smith) Maitland's Uncle and Aunt were Chester and Hannah Chadsey. Circa 1918, they sold this farm as soldier settlement land, as soldiers were returning from overseas after World War I, and taking up land."

Maitland Family: Fred, Mabel, Margaret, Evelyn
Maitland Family: Fred, Mabel, Margaret, Evelyn
Photograph Courtesy of Bill Bigmore

According to Margaret Maitland, obtained from text provided by Bill Bigmore, her parents in partnership with Herbert Smith (Mabel's father) bought 40 acres farther along Old Yale Road. They cleared about 15 acres, where they built their homes, grew grain, and made pastures for the horses and cattle.

In 1917, the Maitlands returned to Chilliwack, because of a severe ice storm, that took out electric lines and telephone poles throughout the Fraser Valley. The storm also knocked out the B.C. Electric Tram, although a steam train was put on once in a while. Transportation was very difficult. They stayed in Chilliwack for a year where Fred had an indoor job, which he did not like. In 1918, Margaret Maitland was born in Chilliwack.

After one year, the Maitlands moved back to their Majuba Hill house, rented during their absence. Margaret recalls going down the hill to Sumas Lake when it was nearly drained, and playing around the huge logs that had drifted ashore. As the lake bottom dried, they could drive along rough roads to picnic at Kennedy Ridge, a strip of higher ground where large willow and cottonwood trees stood.

Obtaining an education in those days was difficult. The one room School required at least twenty pupils in order to have a teacher. Otherwise, Majuba Hill students had to be taken by private car to the Vedder Crossing School, six miles away. For High School, Evelyn and Margaret and other students boarded in Chilliwack, twelve miles away. Evelyn pursued a career in nursing, working in Ocean Falls, Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Margaret became a teacher at Sumas School, four miles from Chilliwack.

Margaret Maitland - 1936
Margaret Maitland — 1936
Photograph Courtesy of Chester Brown

After the B.C. Electric Tram was completed to Chilliwack in 1910, Fred Maitland shipped his milk by rail to Sardis. In the summer, he took his milk cans to the Yarrow station in his car, while in the winter he transported them on a horse-drawn sleigh. The milk from Fred and Mabel's eight cows were cooled by setting the milk cans in a large trough of running water.

During the Depression people on farms did pretty well. They grew almost everything they needed to eat. However, Fred Maitland took on the job of road foreman for the Municipality of Chilliwhack, repairing roads in the Yarrow area. He used his wagon and two horses to haul the gravel.

When the hop industry in the Sumas Prairie was thriving, Fred supplied some of the kilns with firewood. He cut cordwood from trees in back of his property and carried it by horse and wagon to the hop fields eight miles away. It would be an all day trip.

In later years, Fred bought forty acres of land on Sumas Prairie so he could grow his own hay. That was the fulfillment of a dream — to own some of that wonderfully productive Sumas Pairie land.

In 1944 the Maitlands sold the Majuba Hill farm and moved to Chilliwack. Fred passed away in 1955 and Mabel in 1965.

Chester Brown, Adrien Brown, Margaret Bigmore, Ken Bigmore - 1944
Chester Brown, Adrien Brown, Margaret Bigmore, Ken Bigmore — 1944
Photograph Courtesy of Bill Bigmore

Margaret Maitland concludes, "The old home on Majuba Hill is still there and is occupied! Since 1996 a subdivision has built up around it and everything looks different. Amidst the new surroundings, however, many memories whisper down from the forests of Vedder Mountain looking down on the historic Sumas Prairie."

Margaret Maitland (Bigmore)
Margaret Maitland (Bigmore) — 1982
In front of her childhood home on Majuba Hill
Photograph Courtesy of Chester Brown

In 2004, Bev Somers, daughter of Evelyn (Maitland) Knowles, took a trip to Majuba Hill with her dad to see her mother's childhood house. She took the following photograph of her mother's childhood house.

Margaret Maitland (Bigmore)
Maitland Residence — 2004
Occupied by the Maitland family (c.1920-1944)
Photograph Courtesy of Bev Somers


Chester Brown writes, "Mrs Porter lived immediately east of Maitlands. She was a World War 1 war widow from Saskatchewan. She had one son Jim, three years older than I. They moved to the U.S.A.   I lost touch with them until the early 1990's, when they were living in Anacortes, Washington."

Majuba Hill Road Looking West
Majuba Hill Road Looking West (October 18, 2008)

While the Siddall's lived at Yarrow Station, the Belleroses lived at the western extremity of Majuba Hill on their Lake View farm. George Bellerose (1845-1918) built the farm house that served as the Belrose post office after the BCE Railway was completed, with George as postmaster from 1912 to 1918. George's wife, Elizabeth (1850-1952), lived at Lake View farm until her death in 1952 at the age of 101. Their children were Vincent, George, Ernest, and Lulu.

Majuba Hill Road Today Near Belrose Station
Majuba Hill Road Accends Majuba Hill
Near Belrose Station (October 18, 2008)

Chester Brown continues, "In 1982, Margaret Maitland and I organized a small get-together of former Yarrow people for a drive from Vancouver to Yarrow and Cultus Lake. Our group consisted of my sister, Adrian Hurt (formerly Annetta Brown), Margaret Bigmore (Maitland), Vivian Parker (Siddall), Edward Hudson, Marian Rexford, and myself."

Yarrow Pioneers Reunion - 1982
Yarrow Pioneers Reunion — 1982 Cultus Lake
Chester Brown on the left; Ed Hudson on the right beside Vivian Parker
Photograph Courtesy of Chester Brown

Chester Brown concludes, "The next picture of my sister, Adrian Hurt, and I was taken a few years ago. Today, she is 91 years young, while I am 89 years old. Adrain still lives at home in Bellevue, Washington, while I live in a condo in Sydney, B.C.

Adrian Hurt and Chester Brown Adrian Hurt and Chester Brown
Chester Brown and Adrian (Annetta Brown) Hurt Annetta Brown, Chester Brown, and Margaret Maitland
Photographs Courtesy of Chester Brown

I really enjoyed working on this project, Yarrow Pioneers: Vedder River Flats and Majuba Hill. Today, September 17, 2008, I am off on a cruise of the Eastern Mediterranean with stops in Egypt and Greece."

Thank you, Chester Brown!

Funny How Time Slips Away!   Yeah.


Wiensz Family

Mennonite settlers from the Canadian Prairies willingly purchased farms in the Yarrow area during the 1930's and 1940's. Relatives already living in the area provided information on available properties to prospective incomers.

Elmer Wiens writes, "In 1943 my Wiensz grandparents sold their Saskatchewan wheat farm and relocated to a farm on Majuba Hill. This farm, overlooking Yarrow, was situated on the edge of the plateau on the north side of Old Yale Road, above and west of Eckert Road's terminus with Vedder Mountain. The creek flowing through the farm entered a canyon along Old Yale Road, where the road bends to mount the plateau known as Majuba Hill, when one negotiates the road travelling east to west."

Peter and Maria Wiensz's Majuba Hill Farm - 1945
Peter and Maria Wiensz's Majuba Hill Farm — 1945
Vedder Mountain and Old Yale Road in the background
Yarrow Station to the left and east
Belrose Station to the right and west

"Grandfather Wiensz cooled the milk from his cows in the shed straddling the creek. This milk-cooling shed was down from the house, and next to the driveway leading up to Yale Road. Using a wooden wheelbarrow he built, grandfather transported the cans of milk to a platform beside the road to be picked up each morning by the FVMPA milk-truck. Because there was no bridge across the creek, cars splashed through the driveway gravel-ford beside the footbridge, next to the shed.

Whenever we visited, I brought my fishing rod and worms with me, so that I could fish off the footbridge. However, I was not allowed to fish the pond surrounded by blackberry bushes directly below the farmhouse, because these trout were Uncle Alvin's."

"Along with dairy cows, Grandfather Wiensz raised strawberries, raspberries, and vegetables on the Majuba Hill truck farm. He delivered the fruit and vegetables to the Yarrow Growers Co-operative for processing and marketing. Before he purchased a car, in the mid 1940's he delivered his produce to the Co-op with a horse-drawn wagon."

Wiensz Majuba Hill Farm
Grandfather Peter Wiensz Shipping Berries Uncle Henry Wiens - 1944
Grandfather Peter Wiensz Shipping Berries Uncle Henry Wiens — 1944

"In 1944 Uncle Henry Wiensz joined the Canadian Military Forces. After his training, the military transferred him overseas where he served at the front as a motorcycle dispatch rider in the liberation of Holland."

Alvin, George, Peter, Henry, Peter Jr., and John Wiensz
Wiensz Men Welcome Uncle Henry Safely Home From the War — 1946
Alvin, George, Peter, Henry, Peter Jr., John

The extended Wiensz family enjoyed gathering at the Majuba Hill Farm for Sunday afternoon dinners, conversation and fellowship.

Extended Wiensz Family - Spring, 1946
Extended Wiensz Family — Spring, 1946

As a civilian again, Uncle Henry worked for many years for the Canadian Postal Service in Vancouver. The next picture shows Henry Wiensz visiting our grandparents, Maria and Peter Wiensz, with his new Ford Coop.

Henry Wiensz at Majuba Hill Farm - Fall, 1948
Henry Wiensz at Majuba Hill Farm — Fall, 1948

In the background, one sees Grandfather's cow barn, and the original barn overlooking Yarrow Proper on the plain below Vedder Mountain.   Peter and Nettie Wiens' property lies due north on the slope between Grandfather's farm and the BCE Railway tracks, at the southern end of Ratzlaff Road.

Elmer Wiens concludes, "In 1952 my grandparents sold their Majuba Farm to the Spenst family, and moved to Clearbrook, B.C. They purchased a house and acreage west of the Clearbrook MB Church on the north side of Old Yale Road. This fertile farm yielded superb crops of strawberries and raspberries, much to the delight of Uncle Alvin Wiensz."

Wiensz Clearbrook Farm
Alvin Wiensz Picking Strawberries Grandfather Peter Wiensz Shipping StrawBerries
Alvin Wiensz Picking StrawberriesGrandfather Peter Wiensz Shipping Strawberries


Peter and Maria Wiensz - Clearbrook, B.C.
Peter and Maria (Peters) Wiensz — Clearbrook, B.C.


Vedder Mountain

With its colourful, but often drab play of the seasons, Vedder Mountain was a steady physical and mental presence—it was always on ones mind.  Like a colossal, Jurassic sturgeon deposited petrified by the receding Fraser glacier, it stretches from Switzer Creek at Vedder Crossing in the east, turning south at Arnold in the west into the U.S.A. toward Mount Baker.

One necessarily grasps at a mountain's gestalt from a superfluity of distances and perspectives. To obtain the sense of a mountain's shape—its ascending pattern of thickets and grassy benches, densely tree-clad slopes, crags, and precipices—one must view the mountain from various locations, angles, distances, and directions.

Vedder Mountain from Lumsden Road - Knox Farm Field
Vedder Mountain from Lumsden Road
Looking West over Knox's Farm Field
Vedder Mountain from Sumas Prairie Looking East
Vedder Mountain from Sumas Prairie
Looking East

Similarly, one must climb the mountain to obtain the gestalt of its surroundings. Mid-way up Vedder Mountain lies the railroad bed built by the Vedder Logging Company during the early 1930's. From its vantage, one acquires a superb view of the village of Yarrow.

Yarrow, B.C. View from Vedder Mountain
Yarrow, B.C.
View from Vedder Mountain

The trail leading up to the logging tracks offers a commanding view of Sumas Prairie and Sumas Mountain, screened through a copse of spring, pussy willows.

Sumas Prairie and Sumas Mountain
Sumas Prairie and Sumas Mountain.
View from Vedder Mountain

From Vedder Mountain's peak due south of Yarrow, one looks down to the north onto the Vedder Canal, Sumas Mountain, and the Fraser River, and down to the south onto Cultus Lake and Columbia Valley.

Vedder Mountain Peak Views
Vedder Canal Cultus Lake
Vedder CanalCultus Lake

Completing the panorama, one looks through the haze east to Mount Cheam, and southwest across Columbia Valley to the mountains in the U.S.A.

Vedder Mountain Peak Views
Mount Cheam Columbia Valley
Mount CheamColumbia Valley

Vedder Mountain supports a second-growth rainforest, coveted by provincial foresters for its productiveness. A network of old logging roads and trails permits access to charming mountain locales to even the most casual, weekend hiker.

Huge stumps, desiccated over the decades by storms, and ransacked by plants and creatures, present evidence of the majestic coniferous trees that populated the mountains of the Pacific Northwest before they were logged.

Old Growth Coniferous Stump
Old Growth Coniferous Stump

A turbulent stream, sparkling in the filtered sunshine, struggles through moss-covered roots, logs, and branches, dragged by gravity down its rock-strewn stream-bed.

Mountain Stream
Mountain Stream

Near the mountain's bottom, the stream disappears, consumed by a canyon chaotic with cedar, maples, salmonberry bushes, decadent mushrooms, lurking stinging nettle, and slippery ferns.

Mountain Canyon
Mountain Canyon

Pollution and global warming have reduced the numbers of frogs and toads indigenous to Vedder Mountain. Spotted frogs, Pacific tree frogs, Red-legged frogs, and Western toads inhabit the mountain's ponds, and streams, competing with introduced species such as Bullfrogs, and Green frogs. The trail from the Cultus Lake Highway to Vedder Mountain's peak goes by a small lake that was so well known for its large frog population, that it was tagged locally as Frog Shit Lake. Today this pond is a pristine alpine lake, with its clear water virtually free of frog egg clusters, tadpoles, and frogs.

Pristine Alpine Lake
Pristine Alpine Lake

 

   

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