Who says history stays the same? The Village of Clinton has produced a third version of its “Historic Walking Tour” guide, which features more information than previous editions, as well as five new/old places for people to visit.
In August 2020 the village received $20,000 in funding from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) to produce an updated version of the guide, which has been around for several years. Meghan Burrage, the village’s community development coordinator, says that while nothing was cut from the second edition, some of the content was edited to make sure everything agreed.
“There was a lot of back and forth to the museum to check things out,” she says. Museum volunteers had already been in touch with suggestions about what could be added to the new edition, including the Whispering Pines cemetery on Carson Street and Clinton’s memorial hall.
“In the second version, everything included was on the main street, and I think that’s one of the reasons the cemetery and the hall weren’t there,” explains Burrage. “Having them in there still makes the tour quite walkable.”
The tour extends from downtown north to the Clinton Pioneer Cemetery, and west along Kelly Lake Road to the Catholic church. In addition to existing sites and the locations of historic buildings that have sadly vanished, the guide also includes things like the Clinton Annual Ball, the story of the camels in the Cariboo, and the historic Cariboo Waggon Road itself.
“They’re stories that went with the tour but didn’t have a physical spot where they fit in,” says Burrage.
While the second edition was in black-and-white , the new version features colour, as well as dozens of black-and-white or sepia historical photographs that came from the Clinton Museum’s archives. There is also a map with the 25 locations and stories, a map of the Secwepemc Territory, the route of the Waggon Road, and a brief history of the village, which was originally known as 47 Mile, that being the distance from Lillooet, the starting point of the first Cariboo Waggon Road.
The walking tour is designed to be self-guided, can be started at any point along the route, and can be as long or short as participants want to make it. Those on the tour can also take advantage of resting places along the route, such as a new carved bench outside the public washrooms near the community garden.
Burrage says that the bench — created by Cariboo chainsaw artist Ken Sheen — was purchased with funding left over from the CCCTA grant. The village was also able to purchase two new picnic tables, one of which has been installed near the washrooms. The other one will be going just down the road in Robertson Square.
Even though the new guide has only been available for a few weeks, Burrage says that the village is already getting very positive feedback about it.
“We know that the walking tour is something people really like to do. Pretty much the only people who’ve seen it so far are locals, but we’ve had people say they’ve lived here for years and have learned so much about the village. It’s definitely something people enjoy, and they’re glad to see an updated version.
“Hopefully more people can pick it up and check it out. We’re really excited about it and happy to get the funding so we could do it, and we hope everyone can get outside and do the tour.”
Copies of the updated “Historic Walking Tour” guide are free, and can be picked up from the Clinton village office. Copies are also available at the Ashcroft Museum, and Burrage says the guide will be available at the Clinton Museum when it opens, as well as at local businesses. She adds that anyone who cannot pick up a copy can request one by mail; call the village office at (250) 459-2261, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the Clinton Chatter Facebook page.