The Nadu - Part 3 After the settlers of the area had given up on farming in the muskeg (see part 1 and 2), a company from Victoria spent $1 million in 1967 to establish a peat moss factory here. It too failed, and apparently only one shipment of moss was ever made.
Little remains of their activities, aside from ponds at the harvesting site, a crumbling dock and some rusting equipment. Eventually, nature will reclaim these remains too.
Aside from the Evans family (See the Nadu, Part 1), there were several other settler families in the Nadu area. By 1913, there were 18 homes along a trail built inland from the mouth of the Nadu River and some more on nearby Kumdis Island. So the settlers successfully petitioned the government to open a post office in the area. The government also agreed to build a wharf on the inlet, a wagon road for two miles inland, and a good packtrail for several miles more.
The wagon trail has been turned into a good gravel road from the current highway, with several houses along the way. However, further inland east of the highway, settlers struggled to make a living in the muskeg and eventually gave up. The farms are long gone and the old pack trail through the muskeg has been abandoned. All that remains are a faint line in the landscape, remnants of corduroy (a road made up of timbers lain side by side) through the bogs and an old bridge. You can still walk along much of it, now named the Nadu Homestead trail.
Information from The Queen Charlotte Islands Vol. 1 1774-1966 by Kathleen Dalzell
Interesting! So the old wagon road was not just west but also east of the highway in the muskeg. Wild! Beautiful photos, Rogier! You have a great eye for composition and colour to capture that story of that layer on the landscape.
The Nadu - part 1 Edward Evans arrived on Haida Gwaii in 1911, having read stories of great farmland on Graham Island. The government, ignoring Haida title over their land, encouraged settlers to homestead on Haida Gwaii. Many believed the stories and travelled here. He claimed a tract of land along Masset Inlet near the mouth of the Nadu River. However, the glowing accounts failed to mention that much of northern Graham Island is basically muskeg: endless water-logged peat bogs. The Evans family built a house and garden and farmed here for a while. Mrs. Evans livened up the gardens by planting some rhododendron bushes. Fast forward to 2022; the family has long since abandoned the homestead and the forest has reclaimed the house, cleared lands and gardens. The only reminder of their presence 100 years ago are the rhododendrons. They have thrived and still bloom in early July every year. Silent reminders of a different era...
Ḵuu Jaad (Sea Otter Woman) - Sleeping Beauty is Daajing Giid - Queen Charlotte's signature mountain. On a clear day, sunsets from the plateau at the top are nothing short of epic! Well worth the effort of trekking up the steep trail