Edward (Ned) Frigon

‘Old Ned’ Frigon brought colour to inlet

Edward (Ned) Frigon a colourful character around Quatsino Sound.

Drake Island is situated near the geographic centre of Quatsino Sound. The area, once the home of the Hoyalas and Koprino First Nations, now forms a part of the traditional territory of the Quatsino First Nation.

Drake Island was named after Justice Montague William Tyrwhitt-Drake, who was the mayor of Victoria in 1876-77. The name was not adopted until 1926, and early settlers knew the island as Limestone Island. Pamphlet Cove on its North shore was originally named Quiet Cove.

Edward (Ned) Frigon was born in Maurice or St. Prosper, Quebec, somewhere between 1829 and 1834. As a young man Frigon left a young family to seek riches in the California gold rush. He took a boat to Panama, walked across the isthmus, and then took another boat to San Francisco, where he stayed for three years before travelling on to Fort Victoria.

Frigon appears to have travelled to Germansen Creek in the Quesnel area from 1868-70 with members of his extended family.

At Fort Victoria he amassed enough money to buy a basic stock of trading provisions. He then set up a trading post in Bull Harbour, eventually moving to Koprino Harbour in 1889.

In 1895 Frigon moved his trading post to Quiet Cove on Limestone Island. It was conveniently located between Quatsino, Coal Harbour, and the developing mill at Port Alice. He also provided the local post office services.

In 1902 Frigon was identified as holding a mining claim known as Eureka on the Ingersol River.

In the 1905 elector’s list he was identified as a saloon-keeper. In 1909 Frigon opened the Central Hotel, which included a popular drinking establishment.

Frigon’s wharf at Quiet Cove became a steamer stop, where the early Quatsino settlers would pick up mail and deliveries.  The steamers Tees and Queen City would call at the floating wharf until about 1914, when a wharf was constructed at Quatsino. The hotel was open until 1917, when Frigon retired to Port Alice, perhaps in anticipation of the coming prohibition on alcohol sales.

A history column in the North Island Gazette in 1974 noted that Frigon had a number of wives, one of whom threatened him at knifepoint. His last wife was Lucy Moon, who gained notoriety as “the last of the longheads”, a reference to a local practice of binding the heads of girl babies which at one time was common among the Quatsino First Nation.

Frigon was known as a character in Quatsino Sound who everyone knew as Old Ned. He died near Port Alice in about 1917.

Brenda McCorquodale is a Port Hardy resident and North Island history enthusiast at storeysbeach@gmail.com. More at undiscoveredcoast.blogspot.ca/.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island Local Hero Awards 2018

On the North Island, we are blessed with many different kinds of heroes.

Port Alice Health Centre receives special appreciation

Society makes luncheon to recognize healthcare staff

Port Hardy approves the first step towards new subdivision

Mayor and council pass rezoning needed for new development

Windmill blade display finds a home in Port Hardy

The blade will be installed on the corner of Highway 19 and the Bear Cove Highway

Port Harvey shipyard greenlit

Bylaw 895 has been adopted by RDMW

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Media are not an arm of the police, Vice lawyer tells Supreme Court hearing

Ben Makuch challenges Ontario Court of Appeal ruling that he must give materials for stories to RCMP

Most Read