T. Peterson, a settler who moved into the area at the end of the 1800s built a store at Port H’Kusam and in 1899, a government post office was opened in his store. There was a dock at the store where supplies were brought in by boat, the other settlers in the Sayward Valley would walk or ride horseback to Peterson’s store to purchase supplies and pick up mail.
Next to Peterson’s store, the Ruby Hotel was built to accommodate travelers in the area, the store is mostly gone now but you can see the hotel still, although it has fallen in and the land is claiming the site back. On July 1st, 1903, Peterson sold his store to Otto Sacht, who had immigrated from Germany, Mr. Sacht became the new postmaster. Otto also built a new store at the mouth of the Salmon River.
By 1911, a road had been built into Kelsey bay and Otto closed down his store at Port H’Kusam and moved the post office to his new store in Kelsey Bay. Otto was still the postmaster.
Following the trail into Port H’Kusam is a great hike now, the trail is still in good shape and the climb is not so bad. At the end of the trail is some pretty cool ruins, you can see quite a few of the old buildings as they are being claimed by the earth.
The Port itself is a beautiful place, lots of grassy shores and rocky bluffs, its a place that you will find very interesting. There is a good chance you could see wildlife on the trail, Black Bears and cougars, elk or deer and many other types of forest creatures and birds are commonly seen here, so bring your camera.
Mr. Dalrymple, after whom the Dalrymple Trail was named, lived in the first half of the last century in a snug cabin on the shore of the upper Salmon River. Aptly termed a hermit, he lived miles from the nearest neighbor in a forest situated cabin.
At times, Dalrymple could be seen on the dusty gravel roads, walking the 20 miles to the nearest store. The only teacher in the one-room school in the valley stopped Dalrymple on the road and invited him to Christmas dinner. He arrived on foot, dressed like a country gentleman, having walked only ten miles. However, he was one week early. He was invited in and he stayed for dinner. He was invited again for the real Christmas dinner, seven days later.
Several years later he left the Sayward Valley and moved to the Lower Mainland. Sorrowfully, the change to heavily traveled roads took his life. He was killed by being run over by a motor vehicle in the late 1950s. Later, his cabin on the Sayward River burned down.
An easy forest education hike which would take 15 minutes to complete.
Trail Head – is 10km south of the Sayward junction towards Campbell River. The parking lot is on your left-hand side of Highway 19.
Estuary & Mary Kelly’s Trails
An easy stroll across Kelly’s Bridge the trail takes you to the estuary where waterfowl are plentiful. The trail is 1 km loop and takes about 20 minutes to complete
From the Visitor Center head north on Sayward road for 7.4 km, a slight right turn onto Salmon River Main Line (paved, active logging road), 1 km will take you to the parking area for Mary Kelly Trail. From this parking area, the Estuary Trailhead is a further 1.1 km