Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

KETCHUM, Henry George Clopper , b. 26 Feb. 1839, Fredericton, N. B.; d. 9 Sept. 1896, Amherst, N. S. He studied engineering at King's College, receiving its first civil engineering diploma in June 1862. He was deputy land surveyor for New Brunswick before his appointment under H. F. Perley, the acting resident engineer of the European and North American Railway. He was promoted to chief draughtsman, then chief assistant engineer on the line from Saint John to Shediac. Earlier in 1860, he was employed as district engineer on the Santos and São Paulo Railway in Brasil. Returning to New Brunswick in 1865, he worked on a rail line between Moncton and Truro (eventually part of the Intercolonial Railway), becoming chief contractor. Best known for the ship railway over the Isthmus of Chignecto between the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, he worked with British engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker as the managing director of the Chignecto Marine Transport Railway Company, incorporated in 1882. The project, however, failed in 1890 due to financial strain. Elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain in 1878, he became a member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers in 1887, and served on its council in 1890 and 1892. In 1893, he was awarded the society's Gzowski Medal.

Rebecca Elias