TAYLOR, B.C. – The District of Taylor officially unveiled two new historical artifacts on Monday that are now on display at the Taylor Visitor Centre.
The first item was a restoration of the replica of Alexander Mackenzie’s Canoe.
A Canoe Restoration Committee was developed to oversee the project. Members included Councillor Dave Lueneberg, Councillor George Barber, Community Services Director Laura Prosko, and Travel Counsellor Rita Eichelberger.
Stephen Janssen of Northern Lights College Dawson Creek completed the restoration work alongside colleague Michael French.
District of Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser said the canoe is a dedication to those who travel along the highway, especially with the 75th Anniversary of the highway fast approaching.
“This canoe, I think it is appropriate that we dedicate it to the travellers of the Alaska Highway. The modern day explorer that travels up and down the highway throughout this region.”
Janssen said the canoe brought back memories of his youth.
“As a child when ever we as a family [drove] through Taylor we would look for the big pink canoe. I’m excited and happy I could be a part of its resurrection so that other children can see it and create these same fond memories have I have of it. I hope the original makers would be happy with the new upgrade. We each add our mark in like…our personality and this boat should be around for another 40+ plus years.”
The second item to be unveiled was a replica of a Mammoth Tusk found in 2015. Tom and Thelma Ostero found the tusk on their property by an employee.
“It was April 23, 2015 when he (Wayne Gordon) was working in the pit and he took a load out of the bank and down tumbled this mammoth tusk so he brought it over to our house and we didn’t really know what to do with it so the Treaty 8 got ahold of us and suggested that we donate it to the Tumbler Ridge Museum.”
The original tusk, which belonged to a Mammuthus primigenius, is approximately 27,000 years old and weighs 50 pounds and is on display at the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre in Tumbler Ridge.
The Research Centre made three replicas. One went to the Tourist Booth, one to Wayne Gordon (who found the tusk), and one to Tom and Thelma Ostero’s son.