The small town of Yale, BC was once the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Chicago. Originally established in 1848 as a Hudson’s Bay Trading Post, Yale grew to an estimated 30,000 people during the 1858 gold rush. In the 1860’s, with the construction of the Cariboo Wagon Road, Yale became the terminus for one of the largest sternwheeler routes in North America and in the 1880’s Yale saw the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Today only a few of the original buildings remain in what was once a booming gold rush town. At the Yale Historic Site you can visit the museum where artifacts and collections from Yale’s historic past are on display in the ‘Creighton House’, an original home built in the 1870’s. Built in 1863, St. John the Divine, one of the oldest churches in BC, houses original altar pieces as well as ‘Enduring Threads’, a collection of antique linens hand stitched by the students of All Hallows girls school. Visit the Living History-‘Tent City’ where you can relive life in the 1860’s in the General Store, Saloon or Chinese Boarding house. Tour the tents in period costume chosen from the extensive collection housed in the ‘Ward House’, another of Yale’s original buildings. Try your hand at gold panning, either on site or on the banks of the Fraser River. Gold pans and guide books are available locally.
For history buffs, walking tours of the old town sites and pioneer cemetery can be booked through the Yale Historic Site or self guided by purchasing a guide book.