Friday, October 22, 2010

Yale, British Columbia | Gold, Alchemy and Yale Today


It is hard to imagine that the sleepy little town of Yale, British Columbia I visited this morning was once known as "the wickedest little settlement in British Columbia" "a veritable Sodom and Gomorrah" of vice and violence and lawlessness".

Located on the banks of the Fraser River 175 km east of the Port of Vancouver the community of Yale hugs the north bank in an attempt to maximize the sunlight allowed into the canyon it resides.  Morning light comes late in October and the picture above shows low cloud still lingering in the mountain shadow.

Yale B.C., has a deep history with First Nation people and attracted early settlers as a fur trading post. Fort Yale was as far as a boat could navigate up the Fraser River; providing you had a capable captain and good water. From here adventurers took the Caribou Wagon Road which extended into the province's interior another 380 miles all the way to Barkerville. A bit of a transportation "hub" that one was forced to go through.

"Gold fever" struck the area in 1858 and the fur post was quickly converted into a boomtown with no less than 14 saloons as tens of thousands of surged into the area with "gold fever" (and it would seem a great thirst).

Sadly, the Aboriginal people were pushed aside in haste to find gold. Rape, whiskey and even armed conflict between a regiment of the American militia and the First Nation people stains this period of time.

Attracting the wrong sort of American made Governor James Douglas decide that it was necessary to ensure that the "New Caledonia" territory was not annexed by this rush of American fortune hunters and in 1858 the Colony of British Columbia was quickly proclaimed. Alchemy of a political nature brought about by the pressures emanating from Yale British Columbia.  Very soon after a second major transfiguration the creation of a land reserves for the colony's First Nation people. 

Today, not much remains of Yale's heyday the dockside services have been removed and the former commercial core of the town was torn down when the Canadian Pacific Railway was built.  The Anglican Church of St. John the Divine is quite lovely and on a good day, such as I had, Yale is very picturesque. So pack a lunch, wander down to the river's edge, and imagine the pivotal role this town had in shaping British Columbia's history.

St. John the Divine, Yale B.C.

St. John the Divine, Yale B.C.

Stephen Mullock RI is an award winning full-time real estate agent with 29 years of experience and hundreds of sales. Thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Fraser Cheam communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs? Contact Steve (click here) for experience, local knowledge, friendly service that is usually on time; you’ll be happy you did.

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