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Kimberley Families

The Gus Krigsman Story

Although Gus Krigsman never lived in Kimberley, he has covered a great deal of ground in his more than fifty years in the area. He was a trapper and a saw mill hand.

Born in Vermland, Sweden in 1892, and in 1920 he and two friends came to the Nelson District. He returned to Sweden for a time but returned to Canada in 1923. This time he began work at Lumberton, first working in Camp One on the flume that was thirteen miles long in those days. It carried the logs from the hills to the pond close to the B.C. Spruce Lumber Mill. Later he worked at the mill piling lumber. He stayed at this job for seventeen years. Gus obtained a trap line in the Lumberton and Moyie Lake area at the east end, near Green Bay and on Palmer Bar Creek. He was a fisherman and a hunter and knew the mountains and streams very well. In 1940, he got work as a scaler for George McInnis at his lumber camp on St. Marys River above the lake where Redding Creek joins the main stream.

During the winters when the mill was often shut down, Gus would tend his trap line and hunt. The St. Marys Valley was big enough to maintain nine different trap lines with a variety of pelts; muskrat, mink, marten, fox, lynx, wolverine, coyote and bear to name a few.

Gus built a cabin where he would be near his trap line and could hunt and fish whenever he wished. He has lived in bunkhouses or batched practically all his life and has never married. These past few years he boarded with the Nadon family just south of St. Marys lake. He has no idea how many pelts he has gleaned over the years, but on his last year of trapping, he collected fifty-three beaver pelts.

A cataract operation on his eyes put an end to his career. He is now eighty-six years old and has resided in the Pines Special Care home for the past few months of 1978.

Gus Krigsman, Trapper

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