By Eric Andersen
Published: Feb. 22, 2014
“Ike” Hayden was born in 1847 in Maine USA, at the headwaters of two legendary east coast log driving rivers – the Aroostook and the Penobscot. As the logging heyday in Maine was passing, the family moved to Minnesota where the Upper Mississippi was just getting busy with log driving.
Following service with the 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery in the Civil War, Ike struck for B.C. to make his living as gold prospector and “Practical Logger and Cruiser”, as he later advertised his services.
During the Cassiar gold rush, late 1870s/ early 80s, Hayden met and befriended William Mashiter. The two may have first become acquainted with the Squamish while on their way down the “Howe Sound Trail”, to set up a trading business at Granville (Gastown) in 1884.
Hayden and Mashiter lost their general store in the 1886 Great Fire; and then lost their properties on Water St. and Hastings St. to the CPR, who considered them squatters. Hayden the feisty Yankee appealed to the B.C. Supreme Court, unsuccessfully.
As refugees from the CPR takeover of Granville, Hayden and Mashiter came here in 1890 – Mashiter to manage the Magee ranch (today’s Downtown), and Hayden to start his own at Cheakamus.
Within a few years Ike had 7 acres in crops on land he pre-empted and cleared, sending the big timber down the river. In 1895 he built the first wagon road bridge at Cheekye.
Hayden remained a batchelor, and was to spend much time looking for gold in the Seton Lake-Bridge River country. Following a profitable Cheekye timber venture, in 1907 he retired to the U.S. to collect a Civil War pension.