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Well known turn-of-the-last-century photographer.
Ink stamped on back:
Nice early CPR railroad photo in mountains of B.C.
Gelatin silver print.
9 X 11.5 cm.
John Henry Clarke
Born in England on 6 August 1860, Clarke was married with a son in 1891, when he emigrated to Canada. Arriving in Winnipeg by 1894, Clarke became employed as a photographer with Duffin & Company. He accompanied a group of Manitobans going to find their fortunes in the Klondike Gold Rush as far as Victoria, BC, returning to Winnipeg afterwards.
In 1903, Clarke moved to Selkirk where he appears to have remained for the rest of his photography career. He returned to Winnipeg after retirement, where he died of pneumonia at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 14 February 1923 and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. He was survived by a son.
The Big Hill on the Canadian Pacific Railway main line in British Columbia, Canada, was the most difficult piece of railway track on the Canadian Pacific Railway's route. It was situated in the rugged Canadian Rockies west of the Continental Divide and Kicking Horse Pass. Even though the Big Hill was replaced by the Spiral Tunnels in 1909, the area has long been a challenge to the operation of trains and remains so to this day.
The essential problem was that the railway had to ascend 1,070 feet (330 m) along a distance of 10 miles (16 km) from Field at 4,267 feet (1,301 m) climbing to the top of the Continental Divide at 5,340 feet (1,630 m). The narrow valleys and high mountains limited the space where the railway could stretch out and limit the grade (hence the later decisions to bore extra mileage under the mountains and lower the grades)