Dead Tree was not part of the original plan as conceived by Cecil Doutre in 1906. The inhabitants of the Queen Charlotte Islands wished to have communication with the mainland and petitioned the Federal Government for a wireless station. Dead Tree was the result.
   Prince Rupert Journal item of June 21/10 notes E.Huges is passing through town on his way to the Queen Charlottes to determine the feasibility of a wireless station at Lawn Hill. He worked quickly as a July 19/10 item says "a wireless station will soon be erectred at or near Lawn Hill", by November 10th Mr. McIntyre was on site and buildings were going up. The station was commissioned in February 1911 using the call sign CAD. In a couple of years it would be changed to VAH. The 1912 Federal Accounts show the operations building cost $1,720, the dwelling $2,775 and a $280 cost for the boat house. It must have been a pretty modern house as there is a charge of $25 for a bath tub.
   Dead Tree was shut down in 1958 and the operation moved directly south across the inlet to be co-located with the Sandspit airport. The Sandspit station had three operating positions--a marine phone/CW, ICAO, and aeradio. By 1967 the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) had been decommissioned. In the 1970's the marine position was also decommissioned and replaced by mountaintop VHF maritime mobile radios dotted in the local mountains and controlled by Prince Rupert Radio.

If you have Google Earth on your computer, see Dead Tree's approximate location here.
The few photos available are grouped here.

Station construction is well under way in October.  A telephone line south along the coast to Skidegate from the station is also being strung.

Station was operational on February 23.  A telephone connection to Skidegate was installed.

   'Lofty' Harris on station. Nov 5th Hillier heading to Dead Tree from Victoria on the SS Prince Rupert. 1912 Federal accounts show costs of a dwelling house $1720 and boat house $280. In May the antennas were lengthened and spars renewed, in expectation this would increase the station's operating radius.  In June Creer is new OIC, replacing Howard.  Station watch kept from 8 AM to 6 PM.

1913   Call sign changed from CAD to VAH in accordance with the Berlin Conference. November newspaper report advises the Dominion Government has budgeted $13,750 to extend the present phone line from Queen Charlotte City up to Masset.

1914   Some newspaper speculation on moving the station to the southern end of the Queen Charlottes, perhaps Cape St. James. Hillier is reported as the senior operator by the Colonist paper but in the latter half of the year is fleeing Germany where he went at some point to have his eye repaired.  Other operators J.Berry and Bowerman.  Graaf also operating during this time.  Station under control of the Navy.

1929-30  Annual Report:   A new receiver for the reception of radiophone signals between 100 and 200 meters was made up and installed.

1936   Frequencies in kHz: 187,390, 500 kHz.  All are modulated CW.

1938   Operators trained and supplied with weather observing equipment.  Official weather observations now taken every six hours ( 0600, 1200, 1800 & 2400 GMT) and sent to Vancouver.

1948   Herb Holt operating.

1958   The station was removed from Dead Tree and moved south across the inlet to Sandspit Airport.

1967   In the summer of 1967 Jack Fraser was the OIC. Station consisted of two operating positions: Marine & Aeradio. This was Frank Statham's (web site author) first station as an electronics technician--4 month tour.

1980's   Maritime Mobile (VHF) frequencies remoted to Prince Rupert. Rest of maritime frequencies decommissioned.


Dead Tree