Ross H Maclean Rotary RV Park

Features


Site Options:

  • Tent Site
  • Power SIte
  • Water & Power Site
  • Water, Power & Sewer Site
     

Amenities:

  • Free Wireless Internet
  • Coin Operated Showers
  • Coin Operated Laundry Service
  • Free Sewer Access for all Overnight RVs
  • Excellent Dry Firewood Sales Onsite
     

Points of Interest:  

  • Alaska Highway Memorial Site
  • World CLass Walleye Fishing
  • Boat Launch
  • Super Easy Highway Access
  • Adjacent to Ducks Unlimited Conservation Site
  • Professional Golf Course within 10 Minutes
  • Adjacent to a lakeside Pub & Restaurant
  • Walking Distance to Gas and Grocery Store
  • 4 miles from the FSJ Building of the Alaska Highway Museum
  • Baseball Diamonds beside RV Park
     

 

 

 

 

An Alaska Highway Tragedy Remembered

A tragedy that happened on Charlie Lake in 1942 while building the Alaska Highway was nearly forgotten about... until a few dedicated local Fort St. John residents dug up the details on the accident that claimed 12 lives. Today, a monument stands on the shores of Charlie Lake for all to remember the sacrafice made by Canadians and Americans during the building of the great Alaska Highway. 


Not long after the bombing of pearl harbour on December 7th 1941, President Franklin D. Rossevelt approved a plan to build an inland supply route from Canada to Alaska. Construction of the Alaska Highway began in March 1942 and brought nearly 11,000 american soldiers to Northern British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska. As the work began, many soldiers were stationed in the Fort St. John area. 

Shortly after 8 AM, on May 14th, 1942, a pontoon boat left the 341st Engineer Regiment landing at the south end of Charlie Lake to deliver equipment, supplies, and personnel to Company E’s Bivouac site at the north end of the lake, a distance of about 12 Miles, (20 KM). There were seventeen men on board. Major John Marvin Turvey, in charge of the expedition, had overseen the loading of the equipment, which included a radio command car, a bulldozer, drums of oil, and other supplies. 

The two-bay, three boat raft had been built the previous day under the supervision of Lt. John Langendoorf, of the 74th Engineer Company. When they started out from the south end of the lake, the water was choppy, with one foot waves - powered by two 22 Horsepower motors, the boat proceeded north in the increasingly rough water and stronger headwinds, with waves soon reaching two to three feet. 

By 11:15 AM, the boat was about two thirds of the way to its destination and in the middle of the lake. The men then discovered that a plug had come out of the gas line of one of the motors and gasoline was draining out. They had just rounded the headland when Major Turvey ordered a turn to the west shore. As the boat started to turn, two waves hit in succession, flooding the right pontoon, which went under, and tipping the raft at a precarious angle. Then it settled and went under, all in less than two minutes. 

A mile and a half away in his cabin on the northwest shore of the lake, homesteader and trapper Gustaf Albin Hedin watched the pontoon ferry making its way up the lake as he cooked his breakfast. He checked its progress through his field glasses, returned to his stove, then checked the lake again. This time, the boat was nowhere to be seen. Instead, he saw men bobbing up and down in the water. Within two minutes, he had launched his 14 foot rowboat - it took him about 15 minutes to reach the men.  At the accident scene, he found nine men afloat - they were hindered in their own efforts to rescue themselves by their heavy winter clothing and boots. Some of them couldn’t swim. He hauled two survivors ashore, then returned to help the others, even though his own small boat was in danger of being swamped by the waves. Two more men were rescued during the second trip, and on a third trip, he saved one more man.  

Five out of the seventeen men survived. A military investigation concluded that the accident was not caused by any misconduct.  Trapper Gustaf Hedin received a medal from the Humane Society of Canada and was honored by the Canadian Military and the US Military.  

66 years after this tragic incident, hundreds of people gathered on the shores of Charlie Lake on a cold, windy May 21st 2008 for the unveiling of a permanent memorial. Many family members of the solders traveled from across the USA to come to the ceremony, including the son of Major John Turvey, Dan Turvey who traveled from Michigan. 

 

What's It Like

Open style park, large spacious sites, some with fire pits. Super clean washrooms, laundry facilities. Modem equipped and centrally located public telephone. A short walking distance to Charlie Lake and the best walleye fishing in BC.

Attractions in the Area

Camp, swim, boat, and fish for walleye and northern pike in the lake, or make the short trip into Fort St. John for entertainment, dining and shopping.
Fort St John Visitor Centre

Good Sam Approved

There are 1,700 RV parks and campgrounds affiliated with the Good Sam that have to meet a high standard of services and appearance.