This place is on the east side of highway 97 north, south of Quesnel, BC. I’ve driven by it many, many times and always been intrigued about it’s history.
This fall I finally stopped and took time to photograph the building from the ‘old’ Cariboo Highway and from one of the pictures created this image.
I still wondered about the history of the house and started checking out information about buildings of this design along the “Gold Rush Trail”. I have no idea if what I read holds true for this place but it is possible that it was originally a roadhouse.
Here’s some information a BC Heritage website entitled ‘THe Cariboo Gold Rush’
Along these trails grew a series of stopping places. Many of these stopping places or “roadhouses” were established by men who decided that there were easier ways to make money than by digging for gold.
|BC ARCHIVES A-03907
161 Mile House, Deep Creek
Roadhouses were constructed along the new Cariboo Wagon Road, serving as hotels and supply depots, and rest stops for horses and people.
Roadhouses were generally built in areas where grass and water were plentiful and vegetables and crops could be grown. Those who were unsuccessful in mining often stayed in the Cariboo in the roadhouse business to become the first pioneers in the new agriculture and business communities.
|BC ARCHIVES I-22310
Mile 0 Marker, Cariboo Highway
Many of the roadhouses were built by road contractors. Individual contractors were awarded a contract to construct specific miles of road from Yale to Barkerville.
Many of the houses gained their names from mile posts along the Wagon Road.
The roadhouses took their names from mileage measured from Lillooet, which was the point of departure on the first Cariboo Road of 1859.
For example, after choosing a logical place for a roadhouse, they would name it 70 Mile House since it was 70 miles from Lillooet.
If anyone knows the real history of this house I would be interested to hear from you.