before man settled this region known as British Columbia, some
time between the dinosaurs and their disappearance, it's believed
that the Fraser River started taking shape.
passed, and very slowly the Rocky Mountains took shape, altering
the flow of rivers and streams. It appears that part of the Fraser
River, north of the Chilcotin drained east, into the Inland Sea,
while south of the Chilcotin, it drained south and west to the
Pacific. During the Tertiary period, these two rivers formed what
is now the Fraser River and the canyon.
as the Fraser River made its way through the outer Coast Mountains,
the Thompson has managed to make its way through the inner mountains.
The gorge the Thompson has made is stark, mountains are barren
and colourful, sagebrush is everywhere and the sun beats down
sucking up what little moisture there is in this area.
part of British Columbia is steeped in history. Hundreds of years
before any European saw or explored this land, the aboriginals
lived here. They traveled up and down the rivers and trails trading
with other tribes. Where the river was unpassable, they had paths
that connected, thus making travel from the interior to the coast
first Europeans to see this region, were Simon Fraser and his
party. In the year 1805, Fraser and his men made their way west,
but it wasn't until 1808 that they started their expedition down
the river. With the help of the aboriginals who lived along the
Fraser, they were able to make their way down to the Pacific Ocean
in 1856 or '57, near Fort Kamloops, James Huston discovered gold.
The search for gold soon spread from the Thompson River to the
Fraser River, and in March of 1858, the first big gold discovery
was made at Hill's bar, just south of Yale.
the year 1859, prospectors had made their way up to the Quesnel
River area, and in 1861 gold was found on Williams Creek, in the
Cariboo. The gold rush was on.
the miners, were merchants and businessmen with their families
who built the communities and towns that brought civilization
to British Columbia.
main mode of transportation from the mouth of the Fraser River
to Yale, were the paddlewheelers. From Yale miners walked and
used mules to get to the Cariboo goldfields in B.C.'s interior.
near Soda Creek
the winter of 1861-1862 the Royal Engineers started working on
the road that would become "the wagon road." This road
to the Cariboo was 619 km (385 mi.) long and 54 m (18 ft.) wide.
When the road was opened, the mule trains were replaced by horses
and oxen. The era of the freight wagons and stage coaches was
in full swing.
order to make Canada a country from sea to sea, John A. Macdonald
promised to build a railroad from the east coast to the west coast.
On July 20th 1871, British Columbia became a province of Canada.
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) route in B.C. was built through
the Rocky Mountains, over the interior plateau, along the Thompson
and Fraser Rivers and finally to Vancouver and the coast.