Local History

The town of Savona’s Ferry in its original location on the north side of Kamloops Lake in 1885. The hotel operated by James Uren and his wife Jane is the large white building at far left.

Ferry disasters, and a tragedy, prompt calls for a bridge at Savona

The shortcomings of a ferry become apparent, but government inaction leads to frustration

 

“Upper Hat Creek Aggregate Winners” (Oct. 7, 1971): “Three lovely looking ladies took top honours in the Upper Hat Creek Gymkhana last Sunday. With armfuls of awards and ribbons for their efforts, are left to right: Mary Ann Harwood from Diamond S Ranch; Kathy Gray [now Paulos] of Ashcroft Manor and Bev Mason, Ashcroft.” (Photo credit: Journal archives)

In 1921 and 1971, new schools and planes make news in Ashcroft

Plus fraudulent spuds (1896), a new public hall for Clinton (1921), and the Steelhead Derby (1971)

 

The SS <em>Peerless</em>, which successfully navigated the Thompson River from Savona to Spences Bridge and back again in 1881, tied up at Savona’s Ferry in 1885, prior to the community’s move from its original location on the north side of Kamloops Lake (some buildings are visible at the original site at far left).

Golden Country: Savona’s Ferry becomes a steamboat hub for service on Kamloops Lake

For about two decades, steamboats plied the waters of Kamloops Lake

 

Historic Hat Creek Ranch, near Cache Creek, is one of the few surviving examples of the roadhouses which were spread along the Cariboo Wagon Road, and has been beautifully restored and preserved.

Golden Country: If history is your thing, there’s plenty of it to see in this region

Take a late summer day trip to one of the many historic sites or venues in the Southern Interior

Historic Hat Creek Ranch, near Cache Creek, is one of the few surviving examples of the roadhouses which were spread along the Cariboo Wagon Road, and has been beautifully restored and preserved.
Sept. 30, 1971: ‘Barb Shaw Receives 13 Year Badge: Commissioner Mrs. Vernon, left, is here placing a 13 year badge on Barb Shaw at the Brownie, Girl Guide and Ranger banquet at Cache Creek. Barb received many appreciative words for her many hours of time put in for the group.’ (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> archives)

In 1971, a big change is announced for B.C. driver’s licences

B.C. makes decision to become first Canadian province to feature photos on driver’s licences

Sept. 30, 1971: ‘Barb Shaw Receives 13 Year Badge: Commissioner Mrs. Vernon, left, is here placing a 13 year badge on Barb Shaw at the Brownie, Girl Guide and Ranger banquet at Cache Creek. Barb received many appreciative words for her many hours of time put in for the group.’ (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> archives)
One of the earliest known photographs of Savona’s Ferry on the northwestern edge of Kamloops Lake, taken in 1885.

A ferry across the Thompson River leads to the birth of a town

Savona’s Ferry, at the western end of Kamloops Lake, was an important point on the fur brigade trail

One of the earliest known photographs of Savona’s Ferry on the northwestern edge of Kamloops Lake, taken in 1885.
SOUTH VIEW OF NEW HOSPITAL IN ASHCROFT (Sept. 9, 1971): “A view of our new hospital facing south overlooking Ashcroft. In the foreground is part of the parking area which extends back and has been levelled. Something new in insulation has been placed on the flat roof and tar applied over this.” (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> archives)

In 1896, Ashcroft to Quesnel journey is cut to just two days

From the archives: the necessity of getting vaccinated (1946) and the need for slash burning (1971)

SOUTH VIEW OF NEW HOSPITAL IN ASHCROFT (Sept. 9, 1971): “A view of our new hospital facing south overlooking Ashcroft. In the foreground is part of the parking area which extends back and has been levelled. Something new in insulation has been placed on the flat roof and tar applied over this.” (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> archives)
The roadhouse at Historic Hat Creek — pictured in this undated photo — sits directly beside one of the remaining stretches of the 1862 Cariboo Waggon Road, and has been completely restored for visitors to enjoy. (Photo credit: Historic Hat Creek)

Golden Country: If history is your thing, there’s plenty of it to see in this region

Take a late summer day trip to one of the many historic sites or venues in the Southern Interior

The roadhouse at Historic Hat Creek — pictured in this undated photo — sits directly beside one of the remaining stretches of the 1862 Cariboo Waggon Road, and has been completely restored for visitors to enjoy. (Photo credit: Historic Hat Creek)
Big Horn Auto Camp south of Spences Bridge, no date, showing the swimming pool, which was built in 1946. (Photo credit: Ben Bradley)

In 1946 the Big Horn Auto Camp near Spences Bridge gets a pool

Plus a fire in Lytton (1896), work on the Hope-Princeton (1946), and Ashcroft Museum news (1971)

Big Horn Auto Camp south of Spences Bridge, no date, showing the swimming pool, which was built in 1946. (Photo credit: Ben Bradley)
An undated photograph from c. 1946 shows the Harper’s Mill millstones beside the historic freight wagon in Ashcroft. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

Golden Country: The end comes for Harper’s Mill, not with a bang but a whimper

The mill is long gone, but a piece of its history remains near the site for those with keen eyes

An undated photograph from c. 1946 shows the Harper’s Mill millstones beside the historic freight wagon in Ashcroft. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)
Photo of members of the Ashcroft Speed Swim Club from the Aug. 12, 1971 issue of the <em>Journal</em>. The cutline reads “1st row: Fiona West, Janice LaPointe, Audrey Lowe, Colleen Bundus, Kim Woodbury, Lyn Boomer, Tracey Robins, Marcus Lowe. 2nd row: Mike Manning, Darrel Nadeau, Darlene Quesnel, Donald Pears, ….., Doug Morrison, Timmy Askiastall, ….., Allen Miller, Keith Erickson, ….., Don Weatherley. 3rd row: Coach Linda Savage, Billy Anderson, Susan Boomer, Christine Massey, Donna Mazurkewich, Kelly Morrison, Verna McAbee, Allan Boomer, Tony West, Joey Mazurkewich, Doug Masey. 4th row: Rosa Noble, Jo-Ann Lapointe, Stearn Fredrickson, Mike Pears, Grant Overton, Dennis Johnson, Mike Morrison, Glen Tegart, Brett Nadeau. There are other members missing and others pictured names not known.” (All names are spelled here as per the original cutline; apologies 50 years later for any errors.) (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> archives)

In 1946, Cache Creek prepares for the arrival of electric light

Plus promising ore results in Highland Valley, forest fire season, and an unsuccessful fishing trip

  • Aug 18, 2021
Photo of members of the Ashcroft Speed Swim Club from the Aug. 12, 1971 issue of the <em>Journal</em>. The cutline reads “1st row: Fiona West, Janice LaPointe, Audrey Lowe, Colleen Bundus, Kim Woodbury, Lyn Boomer, Tracey Robins, Marcus Lowe. 2nd row: Mike Manning, Darrel Nadeau, Darlene Quesnel, Donald Pears, ….., Doug Morrison, Timmy Askiastall, ….., Allen Miller, Keith Erickson, ….., Don Weatherley. 3rd row: Coach Linda Savage, Billy Anderson, Susan Boomer, Christine Massey, Donna Mazurkewich, Kelly Morrison, Verna McAbee, Allan Boomer, Tony West, Joey Mazurkewich, Doug Masey. 4th row: Rosa Noble, Jo-Ann Lapointe, Stearn Fredrickson, Mike Pears, Grant Overton, Dennis Johnson, Mike Morrison, Glen Tegart, Brett Nadeau. There are other members missing and others pictured names not known.” (All names are spelled here as per the original cutline; apologies 50 years later for any errors.) (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> archives)
A photograph from the 1930s shows a wooden sign beside what remained of Harper’s Mill. That sign is still there, beside the CN track that runs past the mill site, and another sign, which is now in the Ashcroft Museum, can be seen on the front of the building at centre. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

Golden Country: Was the Big Slide of 1880 a bad omen for the success of Harper’s Mill?

Fast work and determination saved the mill, but did nothing to help the transportation issue

A photograph from the 1930s shows a wooden sign beside what remained of Harper’s Mill. That sign is still there, beside the CN track that runs past the mill site, and another sign, which is now in the Ashcroft Museum, can be seen on the front of the building at centre. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)
Harper’s Mill on the Bonaparte River, pictured in the 1890s. The road connecting the site to the Cariboo Waggon Road can be seen in the background. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

Before there was an Ashcroft, there was Harper’s Mill on the Bonaparte

The mill took a roundabout route to its final location, with stops in Lillooet and Clinton first

Harper’s Mill on the Bonaparte River, pictured in the 1890s. The road connecting the site to the Cariboo Waggon Road can be seen in the background. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)
The flume leading from the power plant on the Bonaparte River to Boston Flats, no date. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

Grand plans for the Ashcroft power plant, but only one works out

A scheme to establish a sawmill on either the Bonaparte or the Thompson comes to nothing

The flume leading from the power plant on the Bonaparte River to Boston Flats, no date. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)
A photograph taken some time between 1907 and 1916 shows Ashcroft’s 60,000 gallon reservoir (circled near top right with a road leading to it) on the hillside to the east of town, in about the same spot where a modern pump station now stands. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

Ashcroft’s new water system was no match for the Great Fire of 1916

The town’s 60,000 gallon reservoir was drained in preparation for cleaning when fire broke out

A photograph taken some time between 1907 and 1916 shows Ashcroft’s 60,000 gallon reservoir (circled near top right with a road leading to it) on the hillside to the east of town, in about the same spot where a modern pump station now stands. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)
An operator inside the powerhouse on the Bonaparte River. The poster in the background shows an early image of the character that inspired <em>MAD</em> Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman (of ‘What, me worry?’ fame), which has been traced back to 1894, when it was used to advertise a comical stage play called The New Boy . The image was subsequently widely used to advertise a wide variety of products, particularly painless dentistry. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)

Golden Country: In October 1898, electricity comes to Ashcroft

After months of work, Ashcroft is ushered into a brave new world of electric light

An operator inside the powerhouse on the Bonaparte River. The poster in the background shows an early image of the character that inspired <em>MAD</em> Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman (of ‘What, me worry?’ fame), which has been traced back to 1894, when it was used to advertise a comical stage play called The New Boy . The image was subsequently widely used to advertise a wide variety of products, particularly painless dentistry. (Photo credit: Ashcroft Museum and Archives)
The earliest known drawing of Woodside Farm in the 1850s. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)

Woodside sold: Sooke couple buys Western Canada’s oldest working farm

South Island’s Woodside Farm is the oldest continuously operated farm west of the Great Lakes

The earliest known drawing of Woodside Farm in the 1850s. (Contributed - Sooke Region Museum)
Percy Pigeon, who retired from the RCAF as a Flight Lieutenant, was part of the famed Dam Busters squadron, and is pictured (front row, far r) with his crew in front of their Lancaster bomber during World War II. Information about the Pigeon family is being sought for an online display about Francophone ranchers in the B.C. Interior.

Information sought about Pigeon family for online exhibition

Moses Pigeon and his brother were pioneer ranchers in B.C. Interior

  • Jun 10, 2020
Percy Pigeon, who retired from the RCAF as a Flight Lieutenant, was part of the famed Dam Busters squadron, and is pictured (front row, far r) with his crew in front of their Lancaster bomber during World War II. Information about the Pigeon family is being sought for an online display about Francophone ranchers in the B.C. Interior.
Cataline: The Life of B.C.’s Legendary Packer is the second book by Quesnel author Susan Smith-Josephy, and looks at the life of the ‘King of the Packers’. (Photo credit: Submitted)

Legendary packer Cataline explored in new book by BC author

Book explores the life and experiences of packer who was a legend throughout the Interior

Cataline: The Life of B.C.’s Legendary Packer is the second book by Quesnel author Susan Smith-Josephy, and looks at the life of the ‘King of the Packers’. (Photo credit: Submitted)
Recently released photos paint vivid picture of the Hope Slide

Recently released photos paint vivid picture of the Hope Slide

Ministry of Transportation releases never before seen pictures of tragic event 55 years later

Recently released photos paint vivid picture of the Hope Slide