In the early 1900's Bull River was a thriving community. CPR established a 'tie cutting' mill which attracted many men and their families to the area. Mining and hydro power generation on the Bull were also were important to the growth of the area. There is a book called 'Ties to Water' written by the late Vern Casselman, that documents the beginnings of the town, its growth, culture, people, calamities and eventual dissolution as industry in the area changed and families moved to where they could find work.
Bull River consisted of a town site and several work camps established further up the Bull. Many of these camps were just tents, but a few cabins were built too. We found the remnants of a cabin on our last hike; a pile of old rotting hand hewn timbers that have collapsed into the underbrush.
Other signs of these camps are household furnishing and what else, gargabe. On our last hike we found a door to a cast iron stove, a bed frame, tin plates and bowls, and piles of old rusted tin can and jars.
As I stand on the riverbank and listen to the river rushing by, just as they did, I wonder what life was like for the people that lived during the Bull River 'boom' era in what must have been, at least by today's standards, harsh conditions.
Today, Bull River is a snug little community with several families living in and around the town site and surrounding area. A Bull River reunion was held at the community hall last summer for past and present residents of Bull River. The turnout was great; it was interesting for newcomers like us to talk with people that had lived in this area fifty to sixty years ago and hear what Bull River was like in their day.