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Lower Mainland
Fraser Canyon

Fort Hope

Ft. Hope, c. 1860 (credit B.C. Archives #A-03530)

Early photo of Fort Hope circa 1860 two years after the intial rush on the lower Fraser River gold bars. (credit: B.C. Archives #A-03530)

At the far end of the Fraser Valley was Fort Hope, built by the Hudson's Bay Co. in 1848 at the junction of the Coquihalla and Fraser Rivers.

With the start of the Fraser River gold rush in 1858, there were 300 people living there when a Townsite was laid out. Christ Church Anglican was built in 1859, and is one of the oldest Christian churches in B.C. In July of that year American steamers were running passenger and freight service up the Fraser from Victoria to Hope. When Governor Douglas imposed a license on the American steamers they objected and tried to bypass payment by building a trail from Whatcom, Washington Territory, to Hope. The start of steamboat service to Yale the next year, killed the Whatcom trail .The Yale Road did not reach Hope until 1874, and it was the 1880s before a railway bridge, which also accommodated road traffic, was built across the Fraser at Hope.

According to the Williams Directory of 1892 p.214 there were several mines in the area; the Eureka Silver Mine, the Hope Mine, and the Shumah, "which will all be worked when capital is available."

Today the population of Hope is 6,247. Logging and mining has been the mainstay of the economy for some years. (Encyclopedia of B.C., p.345)

Pioneers of Hope

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All text and images © Quesnel & District Museum and Archives unless otherwise noted. Thanks to the B.C. Archives for permission to show various images. Thanks to the BC Encyclopedia for permission to quote information on the roadhouse communities. Thanks to the Living Landscapes Project, the Royal British Columbia Museum, Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services for their support of site development.