Franson Photo  

Len, Charlie and Fred Franson (l to r) are displaying a family photo of their father Eric and mother Fanny taken in 1952.

Eric Franson was born to farming folk in Sweden in 1894. Eric's older brother, Charles, immigrated to Canada in 1911 and eventually went to work on the construction of the Kootenay Central Railway. Hearing of Charles’ far away exploits, Eric and brother Alfred took off across the Atlantic arriving in 1913 to find Charles living in a boxcar at McMurdo (12 miles south of Golden) where he was in charge of track


maintenance. Fanny Coulton was born in 1897 in Westmoreland, England. In 1914, at the age of 17, she came to work for Eric Smith in his house at Edgewater. Eric and Fanny were married in St. Paul's Anglican Church in Golden in 1922.

Along with Len, Charlie and Fred, the couple raised two daughters Elsa and Ivy. The family moved to Nicholson to a railway section house that stood between the river and the railroad at the south end of Nicholson.  Eric retired from his position as section foreman for the CPR in 1956.


William Wenman was in the right place at the right time when he framed this photo looking east along the CPR main line in the Kicking Horse Canyon circa 1916-1921. What would have been a staged portrait of the crew clearing a rock slide off the track turns into a very rare action shot as Wenman captures the moment after a loud crack alerts men below that more rock is breaking loose. The crew by the crane looks up while two men beside the tie car take cover.