Kicking Horse River Menu

This menu cover shows an upper reach of the Kicking Horse River, which the Canadian Pacific followed from its source at Wapta Lake to Golden, BC, where the river emptied into the Columbia. The back of the menu says that the river was named when a horse “kicked a surveyor into the river. History recalls the horse, but has forgotten the name of the victim who scrambled up the bank, dripping wet, and named the river.”

Click image to download a 1.5-MB PDF of this menu.

Actually, history–or, at least, Wikipedia–remembers very well the name of the surveyor, James Hector. Based on Hector’s account, he wasn’t kicked into the river by the horse but was standing on the riverbank trying to rescue another horse that had slipped into the river when his own horse kicked him the chest. “It knocked me down and rendered me senseless for some time,” he said. But the way the menu told the story is more amusing.

In any case, this particular menu was used on the Princess Marguerite in service between Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver in July, 1955. The table d’hôte lunch menu offers ten entrées including grilled salmon steak, fried sole, steak-and-kidney pie, veal cutlet, and various salads. Most of the meals are $2, which is about $14 in today’s money.

At the time, the princess liners left Seattle at 8 am, arriving in Victoria a little before noon, then left Victoria a little after 1 pm arriving in Vancouver at 5:25 pm. So it is more likely that someone would have lunch on the return trip, which left Vancouver at 10:30 am and arrived in Victoria at 2:45 pm, the departed for Seattle at 4:30 pm, arriving at 8:30 pm.

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