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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Bedaux Canadian Sub-Artic Expedition

by Richard Vettese

The grand title Bedaux gave to the trip was the “Bedaux Canadian Sub-Arctic Expedition,” which he formed to cross the Canadian wilderness of Northern British Columbia in 1934. Much of this trip would be made through regions that were relatively uncharted and had no trails. Bedaux planned to test the new Citroen half-track cars developed by his friend Andre Citroen. The journey was to be filmed by the noted Academy Award winning cinematographer Floyd Crosby.

The guide was the region’s chief geologist, and two leading geographers had joined the group. The Citroen Company and British Columbia Department of Lands backed the expedition. Along for the trip with Charles and Fern were several dozen Alberta cowboys, a large film crew, and Bilonha Chiesa, an Italian Countess rumored to be Charles’ mistress. They set out from Edmonton, Alberta on July 6, 1934 with a goal to travel 1500 miles to Telegraph Creek, British Columbia. The party suffered a number of problems along the way and never reached their destination.  

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