Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

The Thompson country. Being notes on the history of southern British Columbia, and particularly the City… Wade, Mark Sweeten, 1858-1929 1907

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0230524.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0230524-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0230524-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0230524-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0230524-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0230524-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0230524-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array  The University of British Columbia Library
Being Notes on the  History of Southern British
Columbia, and Particularly of the City of
Kamloops, Formerly Fort Thompson.
MARK   S.   WADE,   M.   D Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada,
in the year one thousand nine hundred and seven, by
Mark Sweeten Wade, at the Department of Agriculture. PREFACE.
Even amongst our own people, how little is known of
the early history of British Columbia! That the Fur
Traders were the first white men to take up permanent residence in the wilds of the unknown Interior land lying between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, is
common knowledge, but, with that, error creeps in and
with the very phrase "The Fur Traders" is associated the
idea that by it is meant the Hudson's Bay Company, an
idea at once prevalent and erroneous. Established by
Royal Charter in 1670, the.Hudson's Bay Company gradually extended their field of operations westward, but it
was the North West Company, formed in 1787, that first
pushed their way west of the Rockies. These rival companies
swept the North, the South being harvested by a later concern known as the Mackina Company. Then came the
founding of the American Fur Company by John Jacob
Astor, of New York, in 1809, and his aborption of the
Mackina Company two years later. With the whole South
field in his control, Mr. Astor turned his eyes Westward,
beyond the Rockies, to the Oregon or Columbia River, and
formed the Pacific Fur Company, with headquarters at
Astoria, afterwards Fort George when the Nor'-Westers
secured possession, at the mouth of that great waterway.
Thence traders branched out Northward even as the Nor'-
Westers made their way South. That both these companies
should reach what is now Kamloops about the same time,
is, therefore, scarcely a matter for wonder, and when the
vigorous Northerners devoured the Pacific Fur Co., the
Farther West, rich in the coveted pelts, was theirs alone,
and  to remained, so far  as the Interior was  concerned, until the amalgamation of the Hudson's Bay and Northwest Companies.
This little volume is the outcome of an article published
in 1905 dealing, in the main, with the early history of Kamloops. To this has been added new matter and this narrative, with its many imperfections and shortcomings, is
the result It is not presented as a complete history of that
section of the country embraced in the title, but merely as
a contribution throwing some light on the past. It may perchance serve others engaged in historical research as a
beacon; to warn from what should be avoided and to guide
whither there lies safety and knowledge.
The author acknowledges with thanks the courtesy of
Rev. Father Morice for the use of several cuts from his
excellent work the "History of the Northern Interior of
British Columbia."
Kamloops, B. C,  1st March,   1907. CONTENTS.
I. Aboriginal Times        7
II. The Coming of the White M an    23
III. Superstition and Tragedy ,  .   41
IV. The Reign of John Tod    55
V. ANew Outlet    67
VI. Dawn of a New Era    81
VII. The Search for Gold    99
VIII. The Coming of the Railway  Ill
IX. From Fort to City  127  THE THOMPSON COUNTRY.
abobiginal times.
HE   Southern   Interior  of   British   Columbia
is the home of several tribal subdivisions of
Indians   of   Salish   stock,   further   subdivided
into bands, each band residing on some  definite  location   or   reserve   .   Of   these   tribal
subdivisions     the     Shuswaps     (Shoowha'pa-
mooh),   possess  the   largest  territory   which
includes Shuswap and Adams Lakes, the valleys of the  North and  South Thompson  rivers and the main Thompson nearly to Ash-
croft, the Bonaparte river. Hat Creek, Clinton
and  the valley of the  Fraser from  Pavilion
Creek to Soda Creek, their boundary being the territory
of  that  other great branch,  the  Tinneh  or  Dene  tribe
Along  the   Fraser   river  valley  below   Pavilion   live  th«
Lillooets   (Sta'tlumooh),   meeting   the   Thompsons   near
Foster's bar on the Fraser, the Thompsons  (Ntla-ka-pe-
xnooh)   being  the   western   neighbors   of   the   Shuswaps
and occupying the Similkameen district (excepting Kere-
meos which is Okanagan), the Nicola valley and that of
the Fraser from Foster's Bar to  Spuzzum.     The Okan- 8
agans (Ool'anakane) inhabit the country to the south
and east of the territory on the Shuswaps and Thompsons.
The western leg of the Columbia valley, including Arrow
Lakes and Kootenay river, is claimed by the S-na-a-
chik'st, a subdivision of the Salish proper, their headquarters being, however, in Montana. Their territory
divides the Okanagans from the Kootenays (Kootenuha).
The Salish oroper were originally known as "Flat-heads."
When first discovered by Canadian voyageurs they had
amongst them slaves taken from the coast tribes where
the head was deformed. '
Little is known of the history of these aboriginal inhabitants prior to the advent of the fur traders, who were
the first whites to penetrate the Interior. The remote
past is shrouded in a cloud of tradition, superstition and
mythology. It is evident, however, judging from these
(sources of information, that the different tribes were
constantly at wat with one another, the stronger enslaving the weaker as opportunity offered. The northern races,
the Tinneh, were the more warlike and it was probably
a party of that race that, clad in the habiliments of
warriors on the warpath, long before the first white man
descended the Fraser or even beheld its waters, set out
from the Chilcoten country and made a sudden and unexpected appearance in the Bonaparte valley. But the descent was made in the height of the salmon fishing season,
and, as provisions had been abnormally scarce during
the previous winter, all the Shuswaps, young and old, had
removed from their villages in the Bonaparte and Thompson valleys to their fishing grounds at Pavilion. Finding
none left in the villages where they had expected to surprise the  stay-at-homes  and  enslave them,  the  stranger  JO
warriors pursued their way south and finally reached a
point on the Thompson opposite the mouth of the Nicola
river. Th^re they were discovered by scouts of the
Thompsons who at once carried the tidings of the presence
within their territory of a hostile force, to their fellow
tribesmen at Nicomen and Lytton.
A strong force of the Thompsons at once set out to
repel the invaders and having duly reconnoitred the enemy's position and estimated his strength, established
themselves in his front and rear. The invaders were not
slow to realise the danger that threatened them by a
superior force established in commanding positions and,
with admirable discretion, quietly and unobserved, crossed
the Thompson river under cover of night. They ascended
the Nicola, followed by the Thompsons who continually
harassed them, finally driving them into the Similka-
meen district. There, however, the strangers, young men
for the  most  part  with  their  wives  with  them,  took  a
firm stand and offered such resolute resistance that their
pursuers  ceased to interfere  with them further.     There
the newcomers remained and the Thompsons and Okana-
gans were subjected to conquest at their hands, not by
the warriors but by their women who were good to look
upon  and  found  favor  in  the   eyes   of   the  young   men
among   the   older   established   peoples.      Treaties   were
made   and   inter-marriages   resulted,   and   gradually   the
strangers lost their individuality.    They are credited with
being the first inhabitants of the Similkameen of whom
there is any record.
At what date the  Indians  of the  Southern  Interior
had their first knowledge of the whites  there is no  definite information but it was probably at some time con-   13
siderably subsequent to the events narrated above. Alexander Mackenzie, the first white man to descend the
waters of the Upper Fraser, was informed by the Carrier
Indians, a branch of the Tinnehs, that their immediate
neighbors, the Shuswaps, were a malignant race, "who
lived in subterranean recesses," and that they possessed
iron arms and utensils which they had obtained from
friendly tribes who had received them directly from the
whites, probably from the coast Indians. Mackenzie's
historical journey took place in 1793, but it was not until
afterwards that the Shuswaps had their first glimpse of
the white man, the available evidence placing this event
abput. the beginning oj£ the last century* A Spokane
chief, Pilakamulahuh, connected through his mother with
both the Okanagans of Penticton, at the southern end
of Okanagan lake, and the Shuswaps, had as one of his
wives a Similkameen woman of Tinneh stock, in all probability a descendant of that adventurous band that had
set out from the Chilcotin country as already related. It
was the custom in those days for the Indians living west
of the Rocky Mountains and yet near enough to the prairies to engage in buffalo hunting, to band together for
mutual protection against the common foe, the Black-
feet, when on those excursions, the Spokanes, Kootenuha,
and sometimes the Nez Perces and Coeur D'Alenes, being
among those so doing. On one of these annual hunts
they met a party of Canadian trappers at Hell Gate's
Pass, near where Helena, Montana, now stands. The
two parties fraternized and when, towards the end of
summer, the homeward journey westward across the
Rocky Mountains was begun, two of the trappers, Finan
Macdonald and Legace, accompanied them as  guests of 14
the Colville chief, who took them to his winter quarters
at Kettle Forks on the Columbia river, where they ultimately married two of his daughters. Finan Macdonald, afterwards in 1812, had charge of a post among the
Flatheads in the service of the Northwest Company.
Late   in   the   autumn,   Pilakamulahuh   went   into  winter
quarters  with   his   Similkameen   wife   at   Penticton.      He
entertained   the  other   Indians   of  the  village  with   tales
of the whites met with on the buffalo hunt and his fame
as a   story-teller   became  so widespread  that lie was   a
welcome guest wherever he visited, his vivid descriptions
of the white men  and their doings proving particularly
attractive.    In fact he found this occupation so agreeable
that he did little else  and made journeys far  from  his
usual haunts to gratify his own vanity as a narrator and
the curiosity of his eager listeners, a    course    that ultimately proved his undoing.
The people of Shuswap invited him to visit them and
tell them the wonderful things he had entertained his
own people with. First he went to Spallumcheen and it
required a whole month to tell all he knew of the white
people. Next the inhabitants of the village of Kualt,
Haltkam and Halaut, on Shuswap Lake and the South
Thompson river, invited him in succession and at each
place he spent a month. Tokane, the chief of the Kamloops band, also had him pay his village a visit and accorded him a grand reception.
This round of festivities and story telling occupied so
much time that when spring came again Pilakamulahuh
was not prepared to join the annual buffalo hunt on the
plains. Instead, he accepted Tokane's invitation to spend
the summer at the Shuswap's fishing grounds at Pavilion 15
on the. Fraser this afforded him another and more excellent opportunity to tell his story of the wonderful
whites. There he met the chief of the Fountain band of
the Lillooets and by him was invited to visit his camp,
a few miles farther down the valley. Nothing loth, the
now thoroughly seasoned narrator went and entertained
numerous visitors from below Lillooet and from villages
on the lakes west of that place, who had heard of the
marvels he related and came to hear them in person.
One of them, the chief from Seton Lake, listened with,
increasing incredulity to Pilakamulahuh describe thes**
beings with white skins, blue eyes, light, short, curly
hair; clad in woven material so fashioned as not to impede their movements; armed with a weapon that killed
birds on the wing and at a great distance; shod so that
they could walk over cactus without being pricked. All
these things the Seton Lake chief utterly disbelieved and
said so in plain language. He further asserted that there
was no animal on which men could ride and outstrip the
buffalo; no weapon that discharged, with a noise as of
tWunder and a smoke like fire, a missile so fast that the
eye could not see it. In brief, he declared the honored
story-teller to be a liar and that the tales he related were
unworthy the attention of men and warriors. • Thus
grossly insulted, Pilakamulahuh reached for his bow and
arrows, intending to wipe out the affront with blood, but
his adversary was too quick for him and wounded him
with two arrows. * His friends the Shuswaps carried him
back to their own camp at Pavilion and there he died. Before the shadow of death fell upon him, however, he had
urged his son N'kuala, then a mere boy, to avenge his
murder. 16
By the time N^^ala reached manhood's estate, the
whites had established a trading post at Spokane with
outposts at other points tributary to it. One of the latter
was near !£he head of Okanagan Lake in charge of a Mr.
Montigny, assisted by a man named Pion. After a very
successful winter??; trading, Montigny departed for headquarters with the furs, leaving everything at the post in
the care of young N'kuala who had already earned a reputation-and was a chief of some standing. Upon his
return, Montigny, finding everything safe and sound, rewarded N'kuala with a gift of ten guns, a supply of ammunition, tobacco and pipes. Here was the young chief's opportunity. During the winter he trained the best men of
his tribe in the use of the guns. From the traders who
had established themselves at Walla-Walla he had received the gift of a horse. With firearms and a horse at
his disposal, he felt prepared to undertake the task of
avenging his father's death. Meeting the Shuswaps,
Thompsons and Similkameens in Solemn council, he invited them to join him in an attack on theuLillooets.
They agreed without hesitation and, in the height of the
salmon" season, fell suddenly upon the unsuspecting Lil-
iooets, killing over three hundred of then and taking
many women and children prisoners. ■ Little resistance
was offered the attack, the noise and deadly effect of the
guns and the terrifying, to them, appearance of N'kuala
on horseback riding from point to point directing the
attack, completely demoralising the astonished Lillooets.
In this striking manner was the truth of Pilak-
amulahuh's narrative proved and* his death avenged. To
his allies, N'kuala gave a great feast at Nicola; driving
a large herd of wapiti, which must then have been plen-   19
tiful, into a corral where they were dispatched with spears,
the antlers from the slaughtered animals forming two
ljarge heaps that endured until after the whites settled
in the district.
In many respects the Indians of to-day retain the
customs of their ancestors but in others, notably their
dwellings, clothing, and mode of buritl, marked changer
have taken place, the influence of the whites being apparent in these particulars. The old village sites were
carefully chosen, a sandy soil and a southern, sunny exposure being preferred. The dwellings among all the
tribes inhabiting the drier portions of the Interior, were
of the one type, called in the Chinook jargon, Keek-
willee houses, which simply means underground houses.
They were often of considerable size, were round in form
and consisted essentially of a circular hole dug to a depth
of about six feet and from twenty-five to thirty feet in
diameter. From the circumference a superstructure
of timber was erected sloping towards the centre
forming a cone shaped framework. In this were
interlaced boughs, bark, etc., the roof thus formed
being further covered with soil. The entrance was
at the peak of the roof, the same opening also
serving as a chimney. A ladder, or notched pole facilitated ingress or egress. These buildings formed the permanent quarters and were always occupied in winter months,
a temporary dwelling made of poles covered with sheets
of bark or animal skins serving the purpose of
the primitive tribes at the hunting and fishing
grounds. These     temporary     residences     are     occa
sionally    seen    at    this    day    but    of    the    Keekwillee
houses     only    the    circular     depression,     showing    the 20
site of some ancient village, now remain, the name
The Shuswaps, Okanagans, Thompsons and in fact
Keekwillee holes being given to the pits,
all tihe Interior tribes had then, as they still have, in common with the Tinnehs, Crees, and other Indians, sweat
houses. These consist of a number of willow boughs
planted in the ground at either end, half of them being
run; at-Hght angles to the others, all being fastened at
each point of intersection. Blankets, skins or other material covered the frame work: thus made, all apertures
were carefully closed, and after placing inside a number
of heated stones and a vessel of water, the person about
to undergo the sweating process, crept within the dome
shaped structure, pdured the- water slowlv' on the hot
stones and endured thevheatedi;^por that arose therefrom
Uiitil the' 'sweating had proceeded long enough. The
sweat"was'1 generally ended -with a plunge into river or
lake^fefie' houses beiftg built conveniently near water with
tM¥ eftd in- view. |;
s The5 Indian burial ground of the present day has no
resemblance to that of -the old time native. They were
located neat the permanent villages, sandhills being
chosen, hS doubt, because the graves were more easily
dug in this loose soil. Unlike some of the coast tribes,
who disposed of their dead by placing them in boxes on
raised platforms or in trees, the Interior Indians interred
the dead in graves, many of the bodies being huried in
the sitting posture, otihers again being bent and then placed
on the side. Copper ornaments, dice made of beaver
teeth, pipes of stone rudely carved, portions of garments
made of sage brush bark and other fibrous material in
which the bodies were wrapped,  red  and  yellow  earths 21
for paint, arrow heads, etc., were usually found in the
many old graves that have been opened by archeologists,
who have ransacked every available burial ground and
removed the prehistoric implements, etc., found deposited
with the dead. A small shelter o<r tent-like house was
generally erected over a grave which was usually enclosed. Poles, painted and decorated with streamers,
sometimes carved, and carved and painted figures of men,
frequently., adorned- the old. burial rgrounds and in later
days, after the whites had made such things possible,
pot and kettles and other articles were hung about the
gravel::; The simple cross now takes the place of the
hetrogeneous collections of those past days.
Until the whites introduced, first, flint and steel and,
later, the lucifer match, the Interior Indians obtained
fire by friction, a wooden drill being turned between the
palms of the hands for this purpose, the point being
pressed against a piece of the dry root of the poplar.
The sparks thus produced were caught upon tinder and
blown into a    flame. Culinary    operations    were    of
most primitive style. Possessing neither metal nor
earthenware puts, food that required boiling wa~
placed in closely woven baskets which were filled with
water which was raised to the necessary heat by dropping
red hot stones into it. Basket making was quite an art
with these people and a few of the older Indians still
do a little of it.
Before the advent of the fur traders, furs and skins
of wild animals formed the clothing worn by the majority of the Indians, deerskin being a useful and favorite
material. The fibre of the bark of the sage-brush was
used for making a cort of petticoat for the women. Fea- o>
thers, shells, copper bracelets, strings of animals' teeth,
etc., were used as ornaments for the person. The goods
introduced by the Northwest Company and Hudson's
Bay Company found favor in the eyes of the natives and
speedily effected a radical dress reform in both sexes.
Bows and arrows and spears, were the weapons used
in hunting, the arrow heads and spear points being made
of stone, the same material being made into knives, chisels, and other implements. Needles were made of bone.
Pipes were made from steatite and were generally ornamented with rude carvings and incised lines, similar decorations being found on other wooden, bone and soft
stone tools and implements, the deiigns having meanings
attached. CHAPTER II.
the coming of the white men.
The First Explorers  into the Interior—Mackenzie's Journey—The Coming of Simon Fraser and David
Thompson—Founding of Fort Thompson
The Fur Traders—Rival Companies—
Exploration of the North Thompson—The Philosophy of
Alexander Ross.  25
the coming of the white men.
HE early history of British Columbia is large-
cofreries of a few intrepid, adventurous
ly an account of the explorations and dis-
spirits who made the unknown wastes and
wilds of the western slope of the continent
the field of their labors. By the sea the mariners of Great Britain, Spain, Russia and the
United States had visited the North West
coast line of the Pacific, but what lay beyond that coast line, beyond those mountain
ranges that reared their heights in the background was unknown to them. This
knowledge was gained by the fur hunters, who were the
first explorers in the unknown west. The first of these
was Alexander Mackenzie, who made the first partial
descent of the Fraser as early as 1793, an expedition made
in the interests of the North West Company in whose
service he was. The hardships and well nigh insurmountable obstacles he encountered, and which would
have daunted a less bold spirit, are modestly told in his
The  course  followed  by  Mackenzie  in  his  moment- 26
ous and hazardous journcv was up the Peace and Parsnip
rivers y a short portage across the height of land separating the Mackenzie and Fraser watersheds; down "Bad
river" a shallow, rocky and rapid stream which played
havoc with the big canoe carrying the explorer and party,
to the Great River, the Fraser. This was descended as
far as Alexandria, where Mackenzie was given a far
from attractive description of the Shuswaps who were
said to be "a very malignant race, who lived in large subterranean recesses." (Keekwillee houses).
The Shuswaps then possessed, so he was informed,
iron utensils and arms procured from other Indians farther west, who in turn obtained them from whites at the
Reascending the Fraser to the* mouth of the Black-
water, that stream was ascended, and finally the Pacific
Ocean was reached at Bentinck Inlet, 22nd July, 1793.
One month later, August 24th, the entire party was safely
returned to Fort Chippewayan, the starting point.
Following in his steps came another servant of the
same great fur trading company, the Nor'Westers,
Simon Fraser, and his explorations have exercised a
material influence upon the history of the province. He
did not confine himself to making explorations; he
busied himself establishing trading posts and forts and
gaining for his company a secure foothold in the fur
trade in the virgin land. Thinking he had reached either
the Columbia or one of its main tributaries, Fraser,
in 1806, navigated the stream, established several forts
and in the spring of 1808, in company with John Stuart
and Jules Maurice Quesnel left Fort George, at the junction of the Fraser and Nechaco rivers, he set out to trace   the river to its mouth. It was not a pleasure trip as
they soon discovered. In his journal, Fraser mentions
that having reached the village of the Askettihs, and
by this name he is presumed to mean the Lillooet
Indians, the men, who were dressed in coats of mail,
received him with a volley of arrows. The village he
describes as "a fortification one hundred feet by twenty-
four, surrounded by palisades eighteen feet high, slanting inward, and lined with a s'horter row, which supports a shade, covered with bark, constituting the dwellings."
They abandoned their canoes before they reached
the confluence with the Thompson river, where Lytton
is now situated, and the rest of the journey they did
on foot as far as the vicinity of what is now Yale,
where they secured a canoe and journeyed to the coast
in comfort and safety. Between Lytton and Yale he
was not long in finding evidences that the natives among
whom he was traveling!, had, directly or indirectly
trafficked with other Europeans since articles of European manufacture were seen at intervals. One of
these wa's "a copper kettle and a gun of a large size,
which are probably of Russian manufacture." Another
article was a huge sword made of sheet iron. After
arriving at their goal, the sea coast, it was considered
neither wise inor safe, on account of the troublesome
natives, to remain there long and after but one day's
rest, the return trip was commenced. Fort George had
been left on May 26th and they entered its portals on
August 6th,  having in the  meantime made  the journey
to the  coast and return  over one  of the  most arduous
routes  conceivable. 30
About the time that John Jacob Astor was fitting
out his expedition on the Tonquin to establish the
Pacific Fur Company at Astoria, at the mouth of the
Columbia, David Thompson, a Welshman, like Alexander and Fraser a Nor' Wester, set out for the west,
having already tmade several trips, (penetrating 'the1
Rockies as early as 1800, and arrived at the Columbia
river, in British Columbia, in January, 1811. Early
in the spring he set out for the mouth of that • great
stream and reached Astoria on July, 15th, only to find
that Mr. Astor's expedition had arrived a few weeks
before and were then engaged building their fort. He
remained a few weeks for rest and then set out on
the return journey and by way of Arrow Lakes and
the Columbia, reached his starting point. It was during
this expedition he descended the Thompson river and
established Fort Thompson, afterwards named Fort
British Columbia was then not know by that name;
it was spoken of as New Caledonia, though by some,
that portion of it north of Alexandria only was so
called, the southern portion being named the Thompson
district. Farther south still was the Oregon country
and it was from there that the next visitor came to
Kamloops, or as it was then called, Fort Thompson, in
1812. Thtis visitor was Alexander Ross, one1 of the
members of the little community established at Astoria,
at the mouth of the Columbia by the Pacific Fur Company of which Mr. Astor was the leading spirit. When
in 1813 the North West Company acquired the property of the Astor company some of the men were
given   their  choice  of   entering   thj  S3i*vic3   of  the   new 31
masters or accepting a free passage to New York or
Montreal. Of those who chose to remain in the country
and  the  new  service  was  Alexander  Ross.
With   the  change  of owners  Astoria  changed  also  its
name   and   became   known   as   Fort   George,   and   from
that  point,   in   the  spring of   1814,  the  first  great  movement   of   the   North   West   Company  on   the   Columbia
wras   begun,  the  departure  for  the  Interior,  en  route  to
Fort  William, of  the spring brigade,  consisting of fourteen  boats  in   which  were  embarked  no  fewer  than  124
men,   exclusive  of  the  men  of  the  Astor  company who
had  elected   to  return   to  Canada  by  land  in   preference
to making the voyage round the Horn, the whole leaving
the   Fort   with   flags   flying   and   the   din   of   a   general
salute   ringing   in   their   ears.    Ross   and   a   little   party
accompanied the brigade as far as Fort Okanagan where
they   separated,   the   brigade   continuing   their   journey
along  the   Columbia,   Ross   taking  pack  horses  overland
back  to  his  post at  Kamloops.    In  his  first  experience
at   that   point   he   must   have   encountered   some   competition from  the  North Westers for in his book, "The
Fur Hunters" he alludes to there "being now no rivalry
there."    Of  this   second  journey   he says:—r"From   Okanagan  I   proceeded  northward,   some   300  miles,   to  my
own   ppst  at   She-whaps.    There  being  now no  rivalry
there, or elsewhere to contend with,  I  put the business
in train for the season, and immediately returned again,
with  the view  of being able  to  carry out a project of
discovery,   which   I   and   others   had   contemplated   for
some time: this was to penetrate across the land from
Okanagan, due west, to the  Pacific, on foot, a distance
supposed  not  to  exceed 200 milesy and for the perfor- H2
mance of  which   I  had  allowed  two  months."
The following season Ross again visited Kamloops and
of that visit he says:— "I set out for my post at the
She-whaps, and reached that place in the month of
August. During my absence a man by the name of
Charette, whom I had left in charge, had been murdered.
The murderer was a young Indian lad who had been
brought up at the establishment. They had gone on
a trip to Fraser's river, six days' journey north, and
had quarrelled one evening about making the encampment. During the dispute the Indian had said nothing;
but rising shortly afterwards, and laying hold of Char-
ette's own gun, he suddenly turned round and shot
him dead, without saying a word and then deliberately
sat down again "
That winter, 1815-6, Ross spent fur hunting between
She-whaps and Okanagan, returning to Fort George, as
was the custom, in the spring for supplies, again going
north to his old post in time for the winter trapping.
He recounts how on this journey one of his men, named
Brusseau, fell sick and was unable to continue. The
only course left was to make him comfortable, place
him in charge of another man, leave a supply of food
and let him remain until either recovery or death. As
the case was considered hopeless, the nurse was given
a spade with which to dig the grave should the sick
man die. Ten days afterwards the nurse arrived at
Kamloops with the news of his patient's death and as
for the spade, the Indians had stolen it. All this
passed for truth, until some time afterwards who should
turn up but poor dead Brusseau, escorted by some
friendly Indians.      The nurse had become frightened at 33
the approach of Indians and had taken to his heels,
leaving the poor sick trapper to his fate, and but for
the    kindly offices of some natives he would have died.
The following year. 1817, Ross made a trip to Canoe
River in pursuance of orders from headquarters "to
examine the eastern section, lying between She-whaps
and the Rocky Mountains: a large tract of wild country
never trodden before by the foot of any white man."
He took with him two of his trustiest men and fwo
Indians on foot and followed the North Thompson for
three days, then striking off through the timber north
of the valley. The double journey took but 47 days
remarkably good time over a trail-less country, on foot,
packing on their backs the camp outfit and food. Of
the district he formed a very poor opinion.
Ross relates going a bear hunt with some of the local
chiefs shortly after his return from the journey to
Canoe river. The fruit of the chase would be hailed
with delight by nimrods now-a-days. They only went
ten miles from the fort before they commenced operations and in two days the party killed seven bears,
nine wolves and eleven small deer. "On these occasions," says Ross, they feel flattered by their trader
accompanying them. The party were all mounted on
horseback, to the number of seventy-three, and exhibited a fine display of horsemanship." One of the party,
"the chief Pacha of the hunting party," who rejoiced
in the name of Short Legs, was severely wounded in
the head by a female bear and Ross acted the part of
surgeon with some skill and considerable success, removing several portions of the skull froni the wound, "I
extracted a bone measuring two inches long, of an oblong 34
form, and another of an inch square, with several
smaller pieces." In fifteen days the Indian, who was
after all a good for nothing, was up and about, to the
delight of himself and his near relations, but to the
disgust of the men at the fort against whom he was
constantly  plotting. *k£&
This trader who for so many years did honors at
Kamloops gives the details of many adventures and
throws much .light upon what were qonsidered the'
duties, troubles and pleasures of the fur trader's life.
"And one of the greatest pleasures, htie alluded to,
consists in doing homage to,the great. A chief arrives;
the honor of waiting upon him in a servile capacity falls
to your share, if you are) not above your business.
You go forth to meet him; you invite him in; see him
seated; and if need require it, you untie his shoes, and
dry his socks. You next hand him food, water and
tobacco; and you must smoke along with him. After
which, you must listen with grave attention to all he
has got to say on Indian topics, and show your sense
of the value of his information by giving him some
trinkets, and sometimes even articles of value, in return.
But the grand point of all this ceremony is to know
how far you should go, in these matters, and when you
should stop. By overdoing the thing, you may entail
on yourself endless troubles. When not employed in
exploring new and unfrequented parts, involved in difficulties with the natives, or finding opposition in trade,
the general routine of dealing with most Indians goes
on smoothly. Each trading post has its leader, its interpreter, and its own complement of hands; and when
things are put in proper train, according to the customs   37
of the country, the business of the year proceeds without
much trouble, and leaves you sufficient time for recreation. You take your gun on your back; you can
instruct your family, or improve yourself in reading
and reflection; you can enjoy the pleasures of religion
to better advantage, serve your God to more perfection,
and be a far better Christian than were your lot cast
in  the midst of the temptations of a busy world."
The first pioneers received their supplies overland from
Montreal via Fort William and across the continent
by canoe and portage; a long wearisome journey and
they so continued to get their supplies until the desirability of a more expeditious mode became sufficiently
recognized. The Pacific Fur Company had shown the
feasibility of taking supplies from thf; coast into the
Interior of the Thompson district, She-whaps as Ross
called it. by way of the Columbia fr> Fort Okanagan
and thence by pack animals overland to their fort at
Kamloops. In 1821 this route was adopted for carrying supplies to the forts in New Caledonia, a distributing
station being established at Alexandria on the Fraser.
To that point the pack trains went from Kamloops,
following the Kamloops Lake to 0<pper Creek, opposite Savona, ascending that stream icross the hills to
r-'Hdman'fi Creek, and then by way of Loon Lake and
Green Lake on to Alexandria To Alexandria came the
boats and canoes from the post at Fort George, Fort
James, etc., and received supplies brought by the pack
trains, by which, in turn, the pe1ts gathered at the
northern  forts  were  taken  south  and  ultimately reached
Fort Vancouver, which  in  1824 had superseded the posfe
at Astoria.    From  Fort  Vancouver  the  furs  were  taken 3S
round the Horn by the vessels that brought the enormous supplies required for the system of posts in Oregon,   Thompson   and   New  Caledonia.
Kamloops was the capital of the Thompson district
and the fort was strongly palisaded; within the stockade
there was room for the large horse brigades employed
in the transportation of furs and goods. These pack
trains were large affairs, numbering from 200 to 300
animals. In the winter season they were turned out
en the hills near the fort where there was then abundant pasture and in the spring the band was gathered
in, fat and sleek.
John Tod successively officer in cnarge of the
Hudson's Bay posts of Fort Alexandria and Kamloops.
has graphically described the operating of the "brigades,"
incidently throwing a sidelight upon the Indian character.     He  says:
"It was found convenient to take the annual produce
of the trade of New Caledonia and the districts immediately south of it, on pack horses, southerly to the shipping place at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia river.
This was the cheapest, indeed the only method. The
country, for the most part, was easily traversed and furnished grass for pasture. The long journeying of this
noble cavalcade of 400 or 500 horses, with their numerous
attendants, drafted from various stations, took place annually at a stated time, 200 horses were kept at Fort
Alexandria for the transport and I was always ready to
join forces with my large contingent when the cavalcade
reached   Kamloops.       Each   officer,   however,,   retained
control of his own horses. A "brigade" as applied in this
organization consisted of 16 horses in charge of two men. 39
The horses so banded kept together and each had its name.
The load for each horse was two "pieces" of 84 pounds
each, and the horse was supposed to convey this about
20 miles a day, but, in fact, the distances between camping places varied.
"I remember on one of the above periodical journeys
a little incident which shows the importance of conciliating
and trusting the Indians. It was customary for a number
of these people to meet this regular cavalcade at the forks
of Okanagan river, not so much for trade as to exchange
civilities. Jogging along towards that place three Indians,
dressed in their best, accosted me with an invitation to
camp near their party, but added that they thought it
right to inform me that several notorious Indian horse
thieves had come among them, over whom they had not
the same power as over their own people. My reply
being that I would camp in their midst, they went off well
pleased. On my telling this arrangement to my co-officer
of the cavalcade he became angry, drew out his horses
from it, and went to seek an encampment that would not
be, as he said, "among a lot of horse thieves." About
1,000 Indians were present at the Forks, and the evening
scene was picturesque. To my fire a number of chiefs
came, and there were many stories and abundant mirth-
fulness; finally, before retiring, and after a distribution of
tobacco, I made a speech in a manner they like, and wound
up by stating that my men had for two nights lost their
rest, and we were now going to have a good sleep, leaving horses and everything in the Indians' care. They
sent the horses to some good pasture, and next morning
though I had some misgivings during the night, every
horse was brought to the camp. 40
Dispatching the loaded train, and having the usual
half hour's chat with the chiefs before starting, I cantered
along to my co-officer, who seemed in an excited state—
the stem of his big pipe in his hand and the bowl swinging by the string, as he strode bridle over arm, gesticulating and swearing. "Hello!" said I, "what's up?"
"Those cursed horse thieves," was the gruff reply, "have
taken three of my horses, and they took two of them
last night before they were unladen. How many have yon
lost?"    "Not a one," said I.   43
superstition and tragedy.
FTER making his trip to Canoe River from
Kamloops in 1817, Ross returned to Astoria
and did not again visit his old post at She-
whaps. From 1817 there is no available
record of his successor, the next trader
mentioned in charge of the post being John
McLeod, who ruled it from 1822 to 1826,
and when Sir George Simpson visited Fort
Thompson October 6th, 1828, he found trader Ermatinger in charge. As resident governor of the Hudson's Bay Company Sir
George Simpson made frequent journeys to
all parts of the vast domain ocupied by that corporation.
His visit to Fort Thompson, or Kamloops, was on one
of these journeys, the most lengthy he had undertaken,
extending from York Factory on Hudson's Bay to Fort
Langley on the Fraser river. The entire distance was
covered in ninety days, a remarkably short period, taking
the transportation facilities obtainable into consideration
—canoes, sometimes traveling on foot, and occasionally on
horseback as, for example, on the trip from Alexandria to
Kamloops.     At  Kamloops water  transportation was  re- 44
sumed, the journey from that point to the junction of the
Thompson and Fraser rivers, where Lytton now is, being
made in a canoe with twelve men paddling, an undertaking fraught  with danger in many places  and  requiring"*
great skill in handling the craft in turbulent waters to accomplish safely.
The   next   recorded   ruler   of   the   Kamloops   district
was Samuel Black.    Black was a Scotchman and once entertained a distinguished fellow countryman, David Douglas,  the  noted botanist,  at the fort.      It  is related that
over the    nightly    cup    of    toddy,  probably    replenished      several      times,      the      guest      bluntly      told      his
host      that      in    his opinion      the      fur      traders      had
not a  soul above  a beaver skin,  whereupon  Black took
instant  fire  and   challenged  Douglas   to   mortal  combat,
but the  latter  took his  departure  early  in  the  morning
and  so  avoided  the  duel.     In  1841  Tho'.npso.i district
was   added   to   New   Caledonia.    During   the   winter   of
1841-2,   Black  was   foully  murdered   by  a   nephew   of  a
deceased friendly chief, named Wanquille, on the excuse
that the  trader had  charmed Wanquille's life  awa}r
The   circumstances     attending     the   tragic   death   of
Black are given in detail by John Tod as follows:
"I was appointed as officer in charge of Fort Alexandria, on Fraser river, five or six hundred miles (longer by trail) northwest, in the direction of my old habitat
of New Caledonia. The "fort" was a stockade enclosure with a block house and the usual buildings. It was
close to the bank amid dark forests. The road thither,
after about 300 miles, led past the important Hudson's
Bay Co.'s station at the junction of the north and south
branches  of Thompson river,  so  named bv  Mr.    David   + /
Thompson, a Hudson's Bay man, who, while in the service of the Northwest Company, spent most of the time
between 1808 and 1812 as a trader and explorer west of
the Rocky Mountains, discovering in 1811 the northern
head waters of the Columbia, which river he followed to
the ocean. The Indians called the place 'Kahm-o-loops,'
meaning 'the meeting of the waters,' and we, less poetically, called it the 'Forks' of the Thompson.
"The fort was on the right bank of the North Thompson at its mouth, opposite the modern village, or town,
of Kamloops.
"The surrounding country, in its general character,
presents south of the river a rolling, open surface, the
valleys, clear, save for aspen poplars along the streams,
and the uplands sparsely timbered, chiefly with 'red' or
'bull' pines. It is more a pastoral than an agricultural district, irrigation being necessary in most parts for cultivation. The officer in charge of the fort, Mr. Black, a
chief trader, gave me a hearty welcome during the day
of my stay there. Some calamitous presage, which I
never could acount for, affected me on bidding him goodbye next morning, but passed away as we proceeded on
our journey.
"A few weeks  later, being at Alexandria  on  a  dark
night in February, a French-Canadian showing the traces
of a hard journey, entered the fort and said:  'ivir. Black
is murdered and all the men at Kamloops fort ha^e fled in
different directions."
"I may anticipate a little by stating here the facts of
this tragic occurrence, as these have been wrongly described in the book of his journey round the world in
1841-2, by the Governor, Sir George Simpson, who    was 48
at Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia river, in the middle
of 1841, several months after it happened, and also described wrongly by other writers.
"A chief named Tranquille, of an Indian tribe near
the fort, had died lately, and the widow, in her grief and
concern for the departed, had told her son, a fine youth
of 18, well disposed and quiet, that the father's spirit
should be accompanied by the spirit of some chief of
equal rank. This was urged daily until the youth, worn
by importunity and a supposed sense of duty to his deceased father, seized his gun and sat himself down moodily in the hall of the Kamloops fort. Something in his
appearance caused a servant to remark to Mr. Black that
the Indian looked dangerous, but the latter said that probably the boy was ailing. Soon afterward, on Mr. Black
crossing the hall from one room towarS another, the Indian suddenly rose and fired at his back, and the bullet
passed through the victim's heart and body and lodged
in the wall.
"But to return. On hearing the French-Canadian's
report, I directed him and two other men to start with
me at dawn on horseback, with relays, from Alexandria
for Kamloops. There were two feet of snow on the
ground during the first part of our trip of 270 miles, and
after a long week of almost incessant travel, or 'march,'
as the word was, we reached our destination, to find Fort
Kamloops abandoned save for the widow and children
still weeping over Mr. Black's frozen body, lying where
it fell. An Indian named Lolo, but, as a 'mission' Indian, who preached about St. Paul, commonly called
'Paul,' who had been occasionally employed at the fort,
appeared soon to  sympathize  with us,  and,  possibly,  to 49
report  proceedings   to   the   Indians,   whose    neighboring
camp was silent.
"After examining as far as might be the course of the
bullet, we buried the body, ascertained the murderer's
name from Lolo, and then began to make an inventory
of the goods at the fort. These seemed to be intact.
"Several days were thus occupied, during which an
armed Hudson's Bay Company party arrived from Fort
Colville, and later another armed party from Fort Vancouver (to which southern place some of the men fleeing
from the fort had gone), the expectation being that the
Indians would be found in possession of the Kamloops
fort. As my own station at Alexandria demanded my
care, I returned thither at once in these circumstances,
but the end was not yet.
"The party from headquarters at Fort Vancouver began to terrorize the Indians within reach of Kamloops
as a means of enforcing delivery of the murderer. Horses
were seized, property destroyed, and, practically, short
of killing men, war against the people was undertaken.
The result of this ill-judged action, of course, was nil,-
except in causing bitterness, and, after a time, the company's forces were recalled to Fort Vancouver and Colville. A council held at the former fort, at which, as I
said, the governor-in-chief was present, then decided on
the policy to be adopted.
"Obviously with hostile Indians intervening, the
year's pack of furs from the interior of New Caledonia,
which required a cavalcade of 400 laden horses, could
not reach the shipping depot at Fort Vancouver, nor
could the posts receive thence their goods for next year's
trade.    Accordingly a temporising policy was approved. "I was transferred from Alexandria to succeed Mr
Black at Kamloops, with instructions to try to continue
trading and the business of the district as usual, and
.with the intimation that toward the end of the year a well
armed force would be sent to aid me in 'prosecuting hostilities.'
"As the above policy of the authorities seemed to me
unnecessary and also dangerously provocative, in view
of the number and boldness of the Indians, though not
all of them had guns or much ammunition, or the wherewithal to purchase warlike equipment, I asked for, and
was given rather grudgingly, more or less a free hand
in the circumsta. ces, and I shall now relate what took
place, not for self-praise, but to illustrate how not to make
an Indian war.
"Despatching  Lolo, the   Indian   already mentioned   (he
was a man of birth and undoubted courage, but  I never
fully trusted  him),  to  the  different  camps  and  tribes,   I
ascertained what  horses  had  been  taken from  each  and
what property had been destroyed by the punitive expeditions, and  I  returned the horses from the bands at  the
fort and paid for the property in every case that was substantiated.      Then I offered a bale of 'goods' to anyone
who would show me or my agents where the murderer
was;   I desired no other help.
"On the third night after this notification an Indian
called me up to say that his friends had decided to permit,
him to act as a guide, but he was to take no pay, Jn goods
or otherwise. The murderer was far away in a valley
covered with prickly pears, encamped there near a stream
and guarded by twelve warriors. His information proved to be correct, for on my sending, with a guide, a small 51
party of three men (advisedly small in pursuance of my
own policy of regarding the matter as individual and not
tribal) the place was reached, but though the guards and
the murderer's wife and two child girls were there, he
himself, unwitting of the present pursuit, had visited the
Fraser river to buy salmon. Indiscreetly, as I considered, the party seized one of the children and brought
her back to the Kamloops fort, whither they returned for
supplies and further orders. I caused the child to be
dressed prettily from goods in the store, supplied with
a bag of toys, and immediately conveyed back to her mother by a special messenger on horseback.
"The latter remained a day at the camp, to winch
the murderer had not returned), and before departing
homeward was told by the 'guards' that they would protect the man no longer, but would go home. Thus the
youth became an outcast among his own people, with
his doom fixed and the avenger on his track, but it was
not until four or five months after this that he was run
down and killed, as I shall now relate.
"The pursuers, guided by the informant, came to the
crest of a hill and looked down on a small encampment
on the opposite side of a river in the valley. The guide
said: "There is his place and the ford is in front of the
camp." Acordingly, when night fell, creeping to the river
side, they crossed, the guide a little ahead, when he
stopped to whisper, 'Hush! they are talking in the lodge
—two men's voices—one man, the man we want, is telling
of his dream that the white men were hanging him.'
"In the rush one inmate of the lodge was seized by
the throat; the other inmate dashed through the doorway,
escaping the clutch of the foreman of the pursuers on his 52
hair, as it had been cut short, but the foreman, a swift
Scotchman, overtook and knocked him down with the
butt of a gun.      This fugitive was the murderer.
"Quickly he was taken across the ford in the river,
tied securely on a horse, and the party traveled homeward on their four days' march, and finally reached a
ferry on the Thorn"son river, which would save a round
of several miles. A pipe was there smoked, and the
foreman pondered over the risk of putting the prisoner
in a canoe—finally he sent an armed man to the other
side, and placed in the canoe one paddler in the stern, another in the bow, and the prisoner in the middle, not tying the hands of the latter. About the middle of the
stream the prisoner upset the canoe, and, after diving,
swam to the opposite side. The guard there, with levelled gun, ordered- him to go back.. 'Let me land,' pleaded the murderer 'If they had killed me at the time of the
deed it would have been well; now I wish to live,' whereupon the guard fired, wounding him in the hand. He wailed and turned into the water, and the current took him
down stream within short gun range of the foreman and
another man at a point, or spit, of gravel, from which
they shot and killed him, he crying out before he sank
that he did not wish his death  avenged."
It is stated by a grandson of the murdered trader
that Black was buried at the fort, the body being wrapped
in a horse hide and enclosed in a box made of hewn
boards. When the next brigade set out for the trip south,
it was decided to send Black's body with it to the Dalles.
Early in the journey it became necessary to convey the
furs, and Black's body, across a stream on foot, a tree
felled  across it serving as a bridge.    While  making the 53
passage over this narrow footway with the heavy and
cumbersome box containing the body, one of the Indians
bearing it slipped and Indians and box fell into the stream.
Before it was extracted, the water had penetrated every
portion of the interior and had such an effect as to render
it impossible to carry out the original determination to
convey the remains to headquarters and the unfortunate
body was again buried, this time at Ducks, where it has
since rested undisturbed.    57
OLLOWING Samuel Black came John Tod.
He is described as being a man possessing
neither good looks, nor learned, polished
nor refined, and as having lapsed into a stage
of semi-savagery. In physique he was tall,
wiry, with facial characteristics of the race
of which he was a son, the Scottish. But
in spite of personal drawbacks and deficiencies he was a man from the ground
up, with a powerful arm and a strong
will to help it out. The original
fort was built on the flat at the
north side of the Thompson river in the angle formed
by that stream and the North river, Tod built a new
one on the opposite side of the main stream, differing
little from the forts afterwards built at other points by
the' Hudsoit's Bay Company. It consisted of seven
buildings, used as stores, dwellings and shops, enclosed
within palisades 15 feet high, with gates on two sides
and bastions at two opposite angles. To the older building were added strongly stockaded corrals for the hundreds of horses bred and kept at this post.    Within the 58
fort dwelt the chief trader wdth his Indian wife and
their three children, half a dozen men and a halfbreed
boy. Protected only by this small force, a large stock
of trinkets and supplies of all kinds were kept on hand
with which to trade with the Indians, to the number of
several hundreds, who made Kamloops their trading
point. Seven tribes traded here, coming from Kootenay,
Okanagan, Similkameen, and other distant illahies for
that purpose.
Towering 2,000 feet above the valley of the Thompson
and   overlooking   Kamloops   city   is   a   large   eminence
known  as   Mount  St.   Paul.    It  bears   its   name   from  a
certain   Shuswap   chief,   given   that   same   name   by   the
traders   and   the   company's   men   but   christened   Jean
Baptiste   Lolo   by   the   missionary   Catholic   priests,   fot
already they had visited the  post,  Father Demers,  who
afterwards  became  bishop,  visiting  it  in   1845,   the  year
before John  Tod  began  his  reign.    Lolo  lived near  the
fort   and   enjoyed   almost   absolute   authority   over   hij»
people.    The  regular  winter supply  of  salmon  for   use
at the fort and by  the  Indians  was  procured,  not from
the  waters  of  the  Thompson,  but  from  the   Indians  at
the   Fountain,   on   the   Fraser   river,   a   few  miles  above
Lillooet.     It   was   arranged   th&.o   Lolo   should   lead   a
party    of    men    and    Indians,    for    the    annual    fish
supply  and  in  due  time  a  start  was made.    Greatly  to
Tod's surprise two days later  Lolo returned, alone, and
after  a   good  deal  of  beating   about   the   bush,   for  the
red  man  is  not  a  lover  of  direct  methods   when   more
circuitous   way   can   be  used,   it  transpired   that  he   had
learned of a conspiracy entered into by over 300 Indians,
all  members  of  the  Shuswap  tribe,  to  capture  the   fort   61
at Kamloops and after murdering the inmates, rob it
of its contents. Tod knew nothing of fear, was resourceful and had a thorough knowledge of the native character and his mind was soon made up. He briefly explained the situation to his wife, wrote a full explanation
addressed to his superior officers in case he should fall,
and bidding the halfbreed saddle two of his swiftest
horses, while Lolo was asleep in his own lodge, with
that one lad as his sole attendant, he set out to quell
the threatened  rising.
Lolo  had a covetous  eye  upon  a  certain  sorrel horse
belonging  to  Tod   and   as   he   had   made   a   request   for
this   animal   when   reporting   the   conspiracy,   a   request
brusquely    refused,    it    was    a    matter    for    conjecture
whether the alleged uprising was a mere piece of deception to gain the horse as a reward for a fancied service,
or   whether   he   had   the   stern   reality   before   him.    By
hard   riding  he   overtook  the   party  from   Kamloops,   at
the  point  Lolo had  left them,  by noon  and  found  they
had  no knowledge of the conspiracy, though he  discovered   this   without   letting   them   become   aware   of   it.
Orders were given to look well to the condition of their
arms and next morning they moved forward, and presently,  on reaching an  open  space,  he  detected  signs  of
opposition;  painted  armed  savages  lurking  behind  trees
and   bushes;   men   only,   lack   of   women   and   children
clearly indicating a war  party.    Calling to him a  Canadian   named   George   Simpson,   he   bade   him   fall   back
quietly  with   the   horses   and  should   disaster  befall,   to
ride  to  the  fort  as   quickly  as  possible.    Simpson  hesitated   and   wanted   to   share   the   danger.    "Damn   you,
go," roared Tod.    Then he carried out his scheme, daring^ as it was simple. Riding at full speed towards the war
party, who raised their weapons to pour a volley that
would have torn him to pieces had it been fired, he drew
his sword and pistols, raised them aloft and then deliberately threw them on the ground. Then, unarmed,
alone, he made his horse perform all manner of evolutions, and while the Indians gazed, curious as to what
would happen next, he charged into their midst. He
smiled at them but they knew him and saw his smile
was of anger, not mirth. He demanded what they
wanted. "We want to see Lolo. Where is he?" they
c'-ernanded in turn "Then you have not heard the news?
Poor Lolo. he i- at home sick," he replied and then
proceeded to tell them that Lolo had the smallpox!
They had heard of the dread scourge and they had
learned, too, of the way it had decimated the Indians
of Oregon after the Whitman massacre; a punishment
sent by the gods for wrong doing! He told them how
much he loved his re,d brothers, that they must not
come near the fort until he gave them notice and that
he had brought medicine to keep them from dying
from the disease they dreaded so much. There was a
complete revulsion of feeling; the man they would have
cheerfully killed, they hailed as their savior and flew
to obey him when he bade them load his horses with
salmon. He kept them employed while this was being
done and then vaccinated as many as his supply of
virus would suffice, instructing them how to vaccinate
others from the vesicles when they became ripe. And
so ended the great Shuswap conspiracy and, needless to
eay, Lolo received the sorrel he had so long and ardently
coveted. 63
In the "History of British Columbia" Bancroft relates with precise detail an entertaining story of how
Tod subdued some unruly Indians by threatening to blow
them all to pieces—and the country besides—by explod*
ing three kegs of gunpowder. The facts as related by
Tod himself are somewhat at variance with the historian's
picturesque tale, but although the actual occurrence was
less romantic than Bancroft's version of it, it is interesting enough and serves to show the need of constant
alertness on the part of these isolated fur traders in order
to carry them through with safety and without loss of
dignity and influence.
The changes, and rumors of changes, in the company's business in the western department consequent
upon the Oregan Treaty of 1846, tended to disturb the
Indian mind as to the future, though these changes, practically, did not affect a band of Indians trading usually
at the fort, but which did not affiliate with the Indians of
any "nation" permitted by Tod to encamp in the neighborhood while waiting to proceed to a distant hunting
ground on a further opening of the spring season.
The news spread widely, even so far as Okanagan
Forks over 200 miles distant south. "Nicola,"  a very
great chieftain and a bold man, for he had 17 wives,"
naively writes the trader, "ruled the Indians there, and
claimed lordship over a territory as big as the half of
Scotland, stretching far into the present British Columbia, an administrative dstrict which still bears his name.
The band permitted to encamp was, unfortunately, the
hereditary enemy of Nicola's people. The old chief sat
for two days pondering, then jumped up and spoke to his
wrarriors of the  misdeeds  of the  encamping tribe which 64
had ventured into land under his own  (claimed) jurisdiction, and he urged them, if they had the hearts of men
and not of women, to wipe out those people.      "Let us
march!" exclaimed the young men.      "Nay, not yet!" interposed Nicola, "for we lack ammunition."
What happened is thus related by Tod:
"My first hint of impending mischief was the desire
of an  Indian for a gun and a quantity of ammunition as
the price of ten skins, instead of, as usual, taking blankets
arid  cloth as pay of the barter.      'We are  going to the
Blackfeet  country,'  said  he.      Next week  another   came
with the same story, but by that time I had heard of Ni-
coIa's  speech and said I had no ammunition   to   spare,
whereupon, leaving his  bundle of furs in  the  store,  the
Indian   hurried   back   to   Nicola   to   report   progress,   or
rather failure, which so confounded the old chief that he
again   sat,  for  several  days,   I  was   told,   in   meditation.
'This man of the Kamloops fort,' finally said he, in a great
speech,   'shelters   our  enemies  and  refuses  to  trade;   we
will take the fort and all there is in it and have our   revenge on our enemies.'      Spies told me of this decision
and of the approach of the Nicola war party, painted and
prancing along the  bank  of the  South  Thompson river,
which caused the half-dozen French Canadians at the fort
to flee hurriedly—though the wife of one upbraided him
as  a  coward—and  caused  many  other  white  men    who
were near to depart, as also the encamped band that was
the cause of the mischief.
"It was now my turn, like the old chief, Nicola, to
sit down and ponder, but my pondering occupied minutes
instead of days. Seizing an Indian who passed the fort
gate qn foot, I dragged him roughly inside and compelled 65
him to bring from the store a barrel of gunpowder and
place it near the door. Then, opening the barrel, I
spilled the contents all over the doorway and directed the
Indian to bring me a flint and steel, on which request he
bolted, but I caught him, saying: 'Not yet; I only wish
to see that the flint will act.' We tried several and at
last got a good apparatus. Thrusting the man out of
the fort, I then laid a train of powder to the mass of it
and sat down to wait. In about an hour the local Indian, Lolo, or Paul, with a Nicola Indian from the war
party—the latter whitewashed as when not meditating a
war parley—approached in a canoe. These I addressed
from the bank of the river at the fort, driving them off
with reproaches: 'Begone, and quick! I want not you;
where is that woman chief of yours? Where is he I
am alone here, and Nicola fears with his whole tribe to
attack a single man,' and so fortji. That was the 'barrel of powder' incident.
"Nicola, to whom the Indian who had seen the powder spilling ran, held councils but did not risk an attack.
The Indians knew the effect of a flask exploded, but a
barrel, they conceived, might devastate the whole district.
The end of the matter followed the practice in such cases
of the civilized nations. Several of Nicola's principal
chiefs who knew me came in peaceful array with assurances that he had only been conducting a "reconnaissance
in force," and was pleased to know that the enemies of
his people had departed; his respect for the great company and its honorable local manager was immense; it
was a misapprehension that he ever contemplated an entry into the fort without invitation; but he, personally,
hoped  for  an  opportunity  of  enjoying  that  satisfaction 66
according to recognized etiquette before departing for
the south. So I swept up the powder and entertained as
best I could the baffled chieftain. He was a stately personage, the very pink of courtesy, who sat his horse like
a crusader and commanded the entire devotion of his
followers in any enterprise that did not involve
the experimental personal test of an unknown explosive
power."   69
HE unrest naturally felt by the Hudson's
Bay Co., on account of the doubtful result
of the diplomatic discussions respecting the
international boundary caused the transfer of
a number of horses, and also cattle from districts south of the 49th parallel to the Kamloops station, where bunch grass pasture was
plentiful. Some of these came from Tod's old
farming station on the Cowlitz, and he   amused
himself with the pretence that they recognized
him.    Two hundred brood mareis  were included in the great band thus sent to Kamloops,
and in the spring, foals began to appear.
Unfortunately, also, there soon appeared an addition
to the bands of wolves in the locality, as if these beasts
of prey had been following the progress of the diplomatic
negotiations. Vigilance was useless, but having heard
of strychnine, Mr Tod sent to Walla Walla, 300 miles
away, for a supply of it. The sequel is best told by the
trader himself
"It happened that about this time I had three parties
out in different places squaring logs to make new build- ro
ings, and to these I gave horse flesh and portions of the
poison for wolf baits, enjoining them strictly to take the
baits up every morning. A man, Lamille, from one of
these wood camps, on his way to the fort for a supply of
provisions, placed, foolishly, a remnant of salt salmon he
had with him on one of these wolf baits as he passed it,
which bait had not been removed. Later on a hungry
Indian, seeing the morsel, kindled a -fire and ate, not only
the salmon, but the horse flesh wolf bait (which perhaps
I should have marked), and when Camille, on returning
that way, noticed the head of the Indian rising and falling in the long grass, he bethought him of the poison,
and galloped back to the fort to tell me what he had
Seldom had I been in such a difficulty as then. What
to do I knew not, but, running to the medicine chest, I
took out some blue vitrol and we hastened to the scene.
The Indian's teeth were set, but by forcing his jaws open
a little I poured the vitrol down his throat. This almost
immediately caused violent vomiting and he survived,
but was an invalid for a considerable time.
The Indians generally, meanwhile, had been talking
about the poison and this mishap to one of their number
added much to their uneasiness. Several hundreds in a
state of excitement and alarm, but not in war dress, appeared at the fort to demand explanations. Speech after speech was made bv the chiefs—the fear evidently
being entertained that I meditated poisoning the people.
"What," said I in reply, "what do yon suppose I am living among you for? Is it not to obtain furs and to
trade? How could I get the furs if you were poisoned?
Had I desired to poison you I could have done it   long   73
ago. You know that I sent for the poison to kill the
wolves that were killing the foals—your foals as well as
mine." Then, perceiving the entry into the hall of the
man who had taken the poison, I seized him, and, dragging him forward, said: "Here is the cause of your trouble—this thief who steals the white man's provisions—
such a hungry thief that he will eat what is meant to kill
This diversion and attack saved the situation, for
the poor wretch technically had committed two offences
condemned by tribal sentiment—he had robbed from a
white man and he had robbed what was akin to a "trap,"
and, moreover, he had stirred others against me, who had
saved his own life lately by,the exercise of wonderful
medical skill, though I had burned his gullet in the process. I was not pleased with my own argument, but it
served the purpose."
While Tod, however, had charge of the fort, on May
15th, i8j.6, A. C. Anderson, who then had charge of
Fort Alexandria, the most southerly post on the Fraser
except Fort Langley, set out with five men detailed for
the purpose, to survey a new route of travel to the
coast. He had realised that the negotiations then pending between the governments of Great Britain and the
United States with respect to the international boundary,
would result in a new distributing point being selected
on British soil to take the place of Fort Vancouver,
which had for some time proved unsatisfactory on
account of the anomalous position in which the company
found themselves by reason of the dual occupancy of the
territory in dispute. Should such a new post be created,
a way of reaching it from Alexandria would be a neces- 74
sity. They passed down Kamloops lake, where they
made their first camp; crossed Deadman's creek in
an old canoe and made their way to the Bonaparte,
camping at Hat creek. Next day they traversed the
Marble canyon, reaching Pavilion rancherie and following the Fraser to the Fountain. Arrived at Lillooet they
crossed the Fraser, followed Seton lake, Anderson lake,
and Lillooet and Harrison lakes to the Fraser again,
arriving at Fort Langley on May 24th. Jle had been
unable to bring horses farther than Fountain and had
sent them to the Similkameen country, there to await
On May 28th he again left Fort Langley and attempted
to find a way over the Hope mountains to the Nicola
country. After trying several passes he fell in with a
Thompson river Indian who agreed to act as guide,
but he was not of much service. Finally the party
arrived at Vermilion Bay where they found their horses
awaiting them, and easily made their way to Kamloops
via Nicola lake, arriving at the fort on 9th June. Anderson was not satisfied, however, and next year he sought
to find a better way. Leaving Kamloops with five men
he went to Nicola lake and followed the Nicola river
to its junction with the Thompson. Thence he followed
the Thompson to the Indian village that stood where
Lytton now is, and made his way down the Fraser as
far as the village of the Sachincos (Yale). A trip by
canoe to Langley did not delay them long, and then
began the return journey. At Kequeloose, a point a
short distance above Spuzzum, a short cut was taken
across the mountains to Nicola lake and thence back
to Kamloops. 75
Early   in   1848   Fort   Yale   was   established   by   Chief
Factor James Murray Yale then in charge of Fort Langley,  and   who   had   entered  the   service  of  the   company
in   1815.    Short  in  stature  he  was  know  as   Little  Yale
to  the  officers  of  the  company,  but  in  everything save
physique   he   was   a   giant;   brave,   fearless,   reckless,   he
was   possessed   of   good   administrative   ability.    It   was
the   conclusion  of  the   Oregon  treaty  which  placed  the
international boundary line far north of Fort Vancouver,
and   the  unrest   that  followed  the  hostilities   consequent
to   the   Whitman   massacre   that   caused   orders   to   be
issued  to all Interior posts  to proceed to  Fort Langley
in  1848 for their supplies instead of to Fort Vancouver.
Three brigades  set out,  one  from  Alexandria, one  from
Kan.loops  and  one  from  Colville;  the  route  they were
to  follow   was  that  traversed  the  preceding  summer by
Anderson.    But  it proved  a  disastrous  road  and  it  was
condemned,   the   route   by   Hope   being   chosen   instead,
and  Fort   Hope  was  built  during  the  winter   of   1848-9
The   road   was   made   the   next   season   and,   under   the
name  of  the  Hope  Trail,  was  followed  until   i860 when
the government road was made.    To those who see Hope
now it will come as a suprise to learn that in that year,
i860,  it  was  the  second  largest  town on   the  mainland,
it   was   for   a   time   a   rendezvous   for   the   gold   miners
going   to   and   returning   from   the  Upper   Fraser  mines
and   Cariboo,   one   authority   asserting   "and   a   number
of Chinese have taken up their abode in it.    It is making
rapid   progress,   and   roads   are   being   pushed   forward
north and east of it."
Chief Trader,  Paul  Fraser,  a  son  of Simon  Fraser,
the   discoverer   and   explorer,   was   placed   in   charge   of 76
Fort Kamloops in the early 50's.     He was born at Glengarry,  Ontario,  and  entered the service of the Hudson's
Bay Company when nineteen years of age.     He was not
a   popular   officer,   being   too   curt   and   overbearing,   not
alone towards his subordinates, but to his brother officers
as well.    The Hudson's Bay people had a method of their
own of enforcing discipline and punishing misdemeanors,
by the indiscriminate flogging and beating of the Indians
and halfbreeds.     Paul Fraser had ample faith in the efficiency   of   this   summary   administration   of  "club"   law,
and was considered a capable officer, for this reason, by
his superiors.     For some offense, not recorded but probably   trivial   enough,   Fraser   administered   to   Falardeau,
one of his men, a French Canadian, so severe a castiga-
tion   that   death   resulted.       It   fell   to   one   Baptiste,   an
Iroquois, to make the coffin for the  murdered man, for
no other term adequately covers the mode of Falardeau's
death.      While   so   engaged,   planing   and   shaping   the
boards, Fraser passed by him and observing his occupation,   roughly   told   him   that   "rough,   unpla ned   boards
are   good   enough   for   that   rascal."     Baptiste   stared   at
Fraser a moment in amazement and then exclaimed with
characteristic   bluntness,   "When   you   die   you   may   not
have even rough boards to be buried in."    As though a
spirit   of  prophesy  had   prompted   the  frank   reply,   two
months later Fraser was suddenly killed while camped on
Manson's   Mountain,   Similkameen,   and   buried   on   the
spot without coffin of any description.     He was  sitting
in his tent reading, while his men were preparing their
camp.     Some  of these   were   engaged  in  felling  a  large
tree,   which  by  some  mischance   crashed  into   the   tent,
crushing the life out of the man who had begrudged a 4 I
few planed  boards  in  the   coffin   of  the  man  for  whose
death he was responsible.
There were three grades of officers in the Hudson's
Bay Company's service: clerk, chief trader and chief
factor. Clerks received $100 to $150 a year with keep.
Promotion rarely came before 14 or 15 years service, the
next step being to chief trader, who then became a shareholder instead of a salaried servant. After a further
15 to 20 years service came the coveted promotion to
chief factor according to vacancies, these being infrequent.
The chief trader had charge of a post, several such posts
being under the direction of a chief factor.    81
N the sixth decade of the 19th century a
new era dawned upon the country. Hitherto
the fur companies had monopolised it and
their one object was to secure furs in as
sreat abundance as possible. In the fifties
however, the presence of gold in the streams
and rivers became known and Chief Trader
McLean, then in charge of Fort Kamloops, in 1852 purchased gold from the In-
dians who had obtained it from the
Thompson river. It was at Nicomen,
between Spence's Bridge and Lytton
that gold in paying quantities was first discovered. Then
from several quarters came the report of fresh discoveries. Halfbreeds and Canadians from Fort Colville, formerly in the employ of the Hudson's Bay Company,
made their way to the vicinity of Lytton, found rich
bars and their success becoming noised abroad soon
brought new comers from afar. McDonald and Adams,
two partners engaged in mining on the Thompson and
Fraser in 1857-8 took some gold down to the lower
country  where   McDonald  killed  Adams,  took  his   gold 82
and coolly exhibited it at Olympia. The rush soon began
in earnest and in 1858 thousands of men over-ran the
Fraser river from its mouth to Lytton and above that
point on both  the  Fraser and  Thompbon  rivers.
While thousands arrived  ironi \anous   ports,  most of
them landing at Victoria and thence  by  what transportation was available to Fraser river points, a large number
made   the  journey   overland   from   California.    For   protection  against  the  Indians  they  found  it  advisable   to
travel in companies,  these being composed of from 400
to  500  men.   The   route   taken   was   in   the   main,   that
which   Ross   had   followed  forty   years   before   when   he
was almost the sole white man  in    the  whole  southern
Interior of the country, by way of Okanagan and Kamloops.    Some of  them traveled with pack trains,  others
with  oxen, the  latter  sold  for beef on  arriving  at  the
mines.    One   of   these   companies   from   California   and
Oregon   was   under   the   leadership   of   McLaughlin   and
numbered   160  well   armed  men.    At  Walla   Walla   they
were informed of the hostile attitude of several power-
mi bands of Indians.   Before reaching the Columbia one
of the party was killed by the natives and after crossing
the  river,  when  about  to  traverse  a  defile  McLaughlin
fortunately detected an Indian scout spying from behind
a rock.     Both sides of the pass were ambuscaded by the
Indians and severe fighting took place, three men being
killed and several severely wounded.   While the engagement was  in progress  a detachment crossed tthe river
to outflank the Indians  and after setting fire to the grass
the  latter abandoned  their position.   A  few  days   later
the party suffered attack by mounted natives but ultimately a parley ensued and peace was patched up.    It   was not of much force, for cattle were stolen and thefts
and annoyances of daily occurrence until within three
days journey of the Thompson river which they reached
at a point nearly midway between Lytton and Spence's
Bridge. Others came by way of Okanagan lake and
The Victoria Gazette, the first newspaper published in
British Columbia of August 17, 1858, refers to one of
the»e overland   parties   ns  follows.:—
"Our Yale correspondent states that Mr. Tucker, formerly of Lehama, California, who bad arrived at the Forks
(By this name the junction of the Thompson with tie
Fraser at Lytton wa* then designated) in a company
of 160 men, with 400 animal*, from the Dalles, had been
30 days on the trip, and had a severe fight with the Indians on the road at Fort Okanagan, an old Hudson's Bay
Company post, in which they lost three killed and six
wounded. -Had beaten the Indians off with the loss of
five horses."
The fortune hunters who came overland made in the
main for two points, the Forks (Lytton) and the Fountain, above Lillooet. Those who came by sea and from
Washington Territory, mined in the vicinity of Hope
and Yale. Twenty thousand men mined on the Fraser
and Thompson in 1858, the major portion of them between Hope and the Forks. As Hope was the point of
departure for the upper reaches by lha Similkameen-Nic-
ola trail, besides being the then head of navigation, it
became the most important place on the mainland.
Townsites were laid out and surveyed at Langley, Hope
and Yale and lots were sold by auction, bringing good
prices.    A writer thus describes Yale as it was when  he 86
saw it on July 28th, 1858. "We arrived at Fort Yale in a
little less;  than  nine hours from  Fort -Hope.    There are
probably 700 or 800 people here, nearlv all of whom are
miners, living in canvas tents, and waiting for the river
to fall I saw no drunkeness or I wlessness of any kind.
Everything was peaceful and quiet.    A number of miners
were at work on the river bank, with rockers, and most
of them making a living by washing the loose dirt and
cobble stones." (At that time there were 2000 miners
working between Yale and Hope, taking out from $10
to $qo a day on the bars). "1 slept at Mr. Johnson's (of
Ballou's express) tent that night, and breakfasted next
morning with my old San Francisco friend. Henry M.
Snyder, whom I found tenting a little way down the
river. He gave me a good breakfast consisting of fried
salmon, bacon, hot bread and coffee, cooked by himself,
and served in tin platev xnd cups—each man fitting down
tailor fashon on the «round. 1 had a sharp appetite
..n<! did the fare full justice."
"There is but one public eating house in  the town,  and
the invariable diet is bacon, salmon, bread, tea and coffee,
and the charge is $1 a meal.    No milk or butter is ever
seen.    The eating house is kept in a log house partly covered with bark, and with a dirt floor.     Everything is done
in the same room,  which is not more than 12 x 14 and is
consequently   exceedingly cramped  for space   and   as hot
as an oven."    It was on that same day that the Umatilla, the pioneer steamer to reach Yale, made her first
trip to that town, taking five hours to make the trip from
Hope j the return trip was made in 51 minutes, her advent being the occasion for general rejoicing, the miners
firing   off   rifles   and   revolvers   and   yelling   themselves 04
hoarse to celebrate the event. Yale then became the
head of navigation and this speedily brought about a
new order of things. The Hope route became a secondary matter and a reversion to the old Anderson route,
pack trains between Yale and Spuzzum being in operation in the following month. At Spuzzum, Frank Way
had erected a bridge and a mile above he ran a ferry.
The first pack trains over this route reached the Forks
(Lytton) on September ioth There was, however, a
rival road, a land and water route, between Harrison
river and Lillooet (In i860 a new and better read was
opened between Yale and Lytton, which afterwards became the famous Cariboo wagon road). The nver
was worked for 140 miles up-stream from Hope, and
also up the Thompson to 15 miles beyond the confluence with the Nicola river. Boston Bar became quite
a settlement, and by October, 1858, Lytton had 50 dwellings. Miners worked up above that town and by November there were  3,000 working near  Fountain.
Commander Mayne describes Lytton, which he visited
in 1859, as then consisting "of an irregular row of some
dozen wooden huts, a drinking saloon, an express office,
a large court-house—as yet unfinished—and two little
buildings near the river, which had once belonged to the
Fludson Bay Company, but which were now inhabited by
the district magistrate. The gentleman happened to be
absent from Lytton, but I found his constabie, and at once
took up my quarters in the court house. Next day,
thinking we should find it preferable, we pitched our tent
without, but the clouds of dust which swept over Lytton
continuously soon made us glad to seek its shelter again."
But  this   had   not  all   happened   without   some   trouble 88
with the natives. The Indians had taken to mining and
there were frequent disturbances between the natives
and the whites over mining ground and charges for
transportation by canoes. At Hill's Bar the natives
threatened to clear the entire country of the white men.
Governor Douglas rated both Indians and natives
roundly, but many a prospector who went up the Fraser
full of hope was never again seen. On August 7th,,
1858, two Frenchmen were killed on the trail above the
Big Canyon. As soon as the news reached Yale forty
miners, well armed, and headed by Captain Rouse, left
for the scene of the murder. At Boston Bar they were
joined by 150 miners congregated there, and on me 14th
the party encountered the Indians at the head of the
canyon, a pitched battle took place and seven braves
were sent to the happy hunting grounds, and the IndU
ans were driven out. The party thereupon returne 1 to
Yale. Referring to this expedition the Victoria Gazette
of  12th  Sept.,  1858,  says:—
"Our Yale correspondent states that he learned from
James Stewart, who has just arrived from up river, that
after being perfectly satisfied that it was useless to
attempt to mine under the present state of affairs, his
party sold some of' their provisions and buried the rest,
and started down the river for this place, when just at
the head of the Big Canyon they had a fight *ith the
Indians, killing nine, and among that number was one
chief. Quite a number were wounded, and three taken
prisoners. The miners routed the Indians, who took
refuge in the mountains. Five of their rancheries were
Further fighting took place a few days lat;r, but the 89
leader of the whites, H. M. Snyder, made trea:ics of
peace with all the Indians as far as the Thompson, and
soon the trail was alive with miners again. Early in
September, of the same year, Douglas again visited
Yale and for better preservation of the peace he appointed a commissioner, ten troopers and *en special
constables, a similar disposition was made at Hope, and
at Lytton a commissioner (Captain Trevallis), ten troopers and a warden of the river were appointed. Langley
was expected to be the capital of British Columbia, and
great preparations were made for the Royal Engineers
who were to be stationed there. In November, J£58,
they arrived, 25 of them, under Colonel Moody and
Captain   Grant.
The   following  January   a   report   reached   Victoiia   of
an   outbreak   at   Yale.     Col.   Moody   at   once   *ook   his
whole   for^e   there   and   was   reinforced   by   1   , arty   of
blue  jackets  and  marines  from   the   Satellite.     The  difficulty,  which  arose  out  of a  petty  squabble,  in  which  a
man  named   McGowan   figured  prominenttly,   letween   a
couple   of  justices   of  the   peace.     Fortunately  it   ended
without   any   serious   consequences,   though   it   premised
at one time  to  be the  cause  of grave  disturbance.    It
was  soon  after this  that the  site  of New Westminster
was    examined    by    Lieutenant,     afterwards    Admiral,
Mayne and Dr.  Campbell on behalf of Col.  Moody.
After 1858 the Thompson, the first ground where gold
was mined, received but little attention and the mining
population was never great, though the gold was, and
is extensively distributed all along its course. In 1858,
Tranquille creek was prospected for a distance of 40
miles.    In 1859 five men were making $300 a day with n
sluice boxes, and others took out $10 to $12 a day with
the rocker. In i860 there were 200 Chinese mining at
the mouth of the creek, and in the following year 150
miners averaged $16 a day in the vicinity of the creek.
Up to this time, however, there was no mining done on
the North river and save for the little done at Traa-
cjuille, Kamloops was out of the hurly burly that agitated
the forts at Hope, Langley and Yale. The more peaceful and less exciting pursuit of trading with the Indians
engaged the whole attention of the Hudson's Bay officers
and men, and peace and quiet prevailed.
The condition of affairs at Kamloops in the year 1859,
is well described by Commander Mayne of Her Majesty's ship Plumper, engaged in surveying, who made
a trip through the districts bordering on the Fraser,
Thompson and Harrison rivers. He says: "It was eight
o'clock in the morning when we came in sight of Kamloops. The view from where we stood was very beautiful. A hundred feet below us the Thompson, some
300 yards wide, flowed leisurely past us. Opposite,
moving directly towards us, and meeting the larger river
nearly at right angles, was the North river, at its junction with the Thompson, wider even than that stream,
and between them stretched a wide delta of alluvial
plain, which was continued some eight or ten miles until
the mountains closed in upon the river so nearly, as
to only just leave a narrow pathway by the water's edge
At this fork, and on the west side stood Fort Kamloops, enclosed within pickets; and opposite it was the
village of the Shuswap Indians. Both the plain and
mountains were covered with grass and early spring
wild  flowers. 91
We descended to the river side, and our Indian.
companions shouted until a canoe was sent across, in
which we embarked and paddled across to the fort.
Kamloops differed in no respect from other forts of
the Hudson Bay Company that I had seen, being a
mere stockade enclosing six or eight buildings, with a
gateway at each end. Introducing- ourselves to Mr.
McLean, the Company's officer in charge of the fort
and district, we were most cordially received, and with
the hospitality common to these gentlemen, invited to
stay in his quarters for the few days we must remain
here. At this time the only other officer at this fort
was Mr. Mason. With them, however, was staying a
Roman Catholic priest, who, having got into some
trouble with the Indians of the Okanagan country, had
thought it prudent to leave that district and take up
his abode for a time at Kamloops.
"The life which these gentlemen lead at their inland
stations must be necessarily dull and uneventful; but
they have their wives and families with them, and grow,
I believe, so attached to this mode of existence as rarely
to care to exchange it for another. It may be well to
describe here, in as few words as possible, the position
of the Hudson Bay Company in these districts, of which
until lately they formed the sole white population.
Those who have seen the "fur traders" only at their
seaports, can form but a very inadequate idea of the men
of the inland stations.
"Inland, you find men, who, having gone from England, or more frequently Scotland, as boys of 14 and
16, have lived ever since in the wild?, never seeing any
of   their   white   fellow   creatures   but   the   two   or   three 92
stationed. wjth them, except when the annual fur brigade called at their posts. They are almost all married
and; have large families, their wives being generally
halfbreed children of the older servants of the Company. Marriage has always been encouraged amongst
them to the utmost, as it effectually attaches a man
to the country, and tends to prevent any glaring immorality among the subordinates, which if not checked,
would soon lead to an unsafe familiarity with the neighbouring Indians, and render the maintenance of the
post very difficult, if not impossible.
"The day after our arrival at Kamloops, we went
across North River to the Indian village, to pay a visit
to the chief of the Shuswap tribe, who was described
' o us as being somewhat of a notability. Here was the
site of the old fort of the North West Company which
some twelve years back, after the murder of Mr. Black
(the officer in charge of it) by the Indians, had been removed by his successor to the opposite side of the river.
No doubt the old site was preferable to the new, which
is subject to summer floods. Only the year before our
visit indeed, all the floors had been started by the water,
and the occupants of the fort buildings had to move
about in canoes.
"The building into which we were introduced was
more like a regular wooden house than an Indian hut,
In the centre room, lying at length upon a mattress stretched upon the floor, was the chief of the Shuswap Indians.
His face was a fine one, although sickness and pain had
worn it away terribly. His eyes were black, piercing and
restless, his cheekbones high, and the lips, naturally thin
and close, had that white, compressed look which tells   95
so surely of constant suffering. Such was St. Paul, as
the Hudson Bay Company called him, or Jean Baptiste
Lolo, as he hadbeen named by the Roman Catholic priests
who were in this district many years before." This waa
the same Lolo with whom Mr. Tod had much experience.
Crippled as he was, the old chief accompanied Commander
Mayne and Dr. Campbell to the mountain already mentioned as overlooking the fort, which they ascended and
which, in honor of their guide, they christened Mount St.
Paul. Near it stands another elevation named Roches
des Femmes, from the fact that in summer the native
women often frequented it to gather edible moss and
wild berries. This moss or lichen, (L. jubatus)' was prepared by being boiled and pressed into cakes, in which
form it was eaten.
"The interior of the hut is divided into compartments
and, upon entering, you may see a fire burning in each,
with six or eight individuals huddled about it—their
dusky forms scarcely distinguishable in the clouds of
white'blinding smoke' which had no other outlet than
the door4 or sometimes a hole in the roof. Their temporary hut is constructed of thin poles covered with mats,
but these are generally used only in the summer, and
upon their fishing expeditions and travels. It is not
usual, however, from some superstitious reason, or because of sickness breaking out, to leave their village with
everything standing, and never return to them."
Commander Mayne als© mentions that he went "to
see the bands of horses driven in, and those past work-
selected for food. There were some two hundred or
three hundred horses of all sorts and ages at the station.
Just outside the fort  were  two  pens, or corrals as they 96
called them, and into these the horses were driven. A
few colts were chosen for breaking in, and then the old
mares, whose breeding time was past, were selected
and—for it was upon horse flesh principally that the
people of the fort lived—driven out to be killed, skinned and salted down.**
Commander  Mayne  had  a spice of the romantic in
his  composition.     He missed  seeing the  Fur  Brigade—
which was daily expected at the time of his visit to Kamloops— and he says:     "It was not without regret that I
missed seeing the Fur Brigade.     It is one of those institutions   of this  wild   and  beautiful country,  which  must
give way before the approach of civilization.     The time
will come—soon, perhaps—when such a sight as a train
of  some  200  horses,   laden  with  fur  packages,  winding
their way through the rough mountain passes of British
Columbia, will be as unfamiliar as that of a  canoe upon
its rivers.     No doubt the change will be for the better,
but it is sometimes hard to believe it.     Of course it is
much more practical to ascend the Fraser in a river steamboat than to make the journey in an Indian canoe *    *    *
but it will be long  before  I  should  prefer  the  former
method of locomotion to the latter when the weather is
fine.    With all its many inconveniences, there is something
marvellously pleasant in canoe travelling, with its tranquil,  gliding motion,  the  regular,  splashless  dip,  dip  of
the paddles, the wild chant of the Indian crew, or better
still, the songs of the Canadian voyageurs, keeping time to
the pleasant chorus  of "Ma  Belle  Rosa,"  or "Le  Beau
Soldat." -Tl'V!   g A     101
N 1861 the presence of gold in the bars of
the North Thompson and its branches first
attracted attention.     Jameson Creek,  Clearwater  river,   Barriere  river   (where  a  party
of Frenchmen made $50 a day), Adams   river, Moberly creek and  other streams  made
things   a  little  livelier  around  the  old   fort
and  in   1862  there  was  still  a  further addition    by    the    arrival    of    an    adventurous
party    who    had     made     the     long     trip
across     the    prairies     and    while    a    portion of the   original party descended the Fraser to Quesmel,   another   portion   followed   the   North
River.    Two of them were drowned and the remainder
nearly  perished   for  lack   of  food.    Among  them  was
one woman having in her care three children and adding
to the number a  few miles above  Kamloops.    Among
those   who  came  in   this  party were   the  late   Samuel
Moore, J. A. Mara, C. T. Cooney, G. C Tunstall, the late
James Mcintosh, etc., each of whom has since that long 102
ago  day done  his  share  to  build  up  the  town   and   vicinity.
Prior to the Fraser river excitement, gold was mined
on the upper Columbia, as early indeed as 1856, Governor Douglas having in that year announced the fact to
the Colonial Office. Miners earned from $10 to $40 a
day, but with their usual restlessness and fickleness, the
news of a new "strike" was sufficient to cause them to
rush away to the new field. In 1863-4 an excitement
was aroused over the placer ground in the Kootenay
valley near the boundary line, but this was not so intens -.
as the Big Bend excitement which occurred shortly afterwards.
Wild Horse Creek, a tributary of the Kootenay river,
was  the  scene  of  the   Kootenay   flurry.     Discovered   in
1863, in May 1864, four hundred miners had staked claims
on it and, according to Hudson Bay Factor MacKay, by
August, 5,000 men were in the district.        One tenth of
these remained for the winter at Fisherville   the principal
camp or town on the Creek which was reached by two
routes;  one from  Colville via  Pend  d'Oreille,, the other
from Fort Hope, via the Similkameen,  Rock Creek and
Pend   d'Oreille.      In   1866,   Fisherville   was   pulled   down
to allow the site  to be mined.     Farms were located on
the benches in the Kootenay Valley, and as the Indians
there had  an  abundance  of  horses,  the miners  had  no
difficulty in moving from creek to creek to  try for new
grofund, Perry Creek, where $18 to $30 a day to the man
was taken out, being the chief.
Rock Creek, in i860, was a busy mining centre, the
creek near its mouth yielding from one to two ounces
a day.     Mission Creek and several others emptying into   105
Okanagan lake were all mined about the same date,
1859-61, from two dollars to forty dollars a day being obtained.
In 1863, the late Jos. W. McKay was in charge of the
Hudson's Bay fort at Kamloops and William G. Cox
held the office of gold commissioner and police magistrate at a salary of £400 a year. Y.ile Ly'ti n anc Lillooet each had its gold commissioner. Tn 1861, Kamloops was honored with a visit from Governor Doi.glas
who made the trip by way of Kamloops, and Okanagan
Lake to Rock Creek, returning by way of the Dewdney-
Moberly trail, then nearly completed. In 1862 Douglas
determined to build the wagon road along the Fraser.
There was already in use the water and land route via
Harrison river to Douglas and Lillooet, in the construction of which 500 men—anxious to get to the Cariboo country where gold had then just been found—
were employed, Governor Douglas agreeing to land at
Douglas all provisions and supplies at Victoria prices
if the men would turn to and build the road, all of which
was done. In 1862 the great rush to Cariboo was at its
height and the projected new road along the Eraser was
at once pushed. A writer describing the road and Vale,
its starting point,  in  1863, says:— 4#
"Since the Fraser River excitement of 1858, Yale has
always been a hustling, busy little place, and notwithstanding the competition of the Douglas route, that via
Yale has always retained its popularity." (This must
have reference to the trails along the Fraser.) "The
great   government   works   which   have   been   carried   on
in  the valley of the  Fraser above  Yale during the  past
summer,  have  had  a  beneficial  effect on  the   prosperity 103
of the place, ar.d caused a considerable rise in the value
of lots in the town. By the middle of next May a road,
passable for wagons, will have been completed from
Yale to Williams creek (lake is no doubt meant) a
distance of 160 miles. The road from Yale to Lytton
(63 miles) which goes through the precipitous channel
of the Eraser, known as the Big Canyon, has been constructed at a great cost to the colony. From Yale to
Pike's Riffle, six miles and six chains, the road was
built by the Royal Engineers; from Pike's Riffle to
Chapman's bar, a distance of 8 miles, by Mr. (afterwards
Sir J. W.) Trutch, for $47,000; from Chapman's Bar to
Boston Bar, 11 to 12 miles, by Messers Spence and
Trutch (the Spence here mentioned constructed the
bridge over the Thompson river at the place which still
is known as Spence's Bridge, though the bridge has
long since been washed away) for $75,000, from Boston
Bar to Lytton, 32 1-2 miles, by Mr. Spence for $S8,ooo,
Mr. Spence employed 600 men on this work which he
completed in four months. The engineering difficulties
encountered in carrying out the above woik have been
considerable, and a bridge has yet to be thrown across
the river (Fraser) before the chain of communication
is completed. There is no doubt that this will become
one of the main roads into the Interior of the country."
Mr. Spence, in connection with Mr. Trutch, built the
suspension bridge at Spuzzum across the Fraser ami
the new road was soon thronged with pack trains and
heavily laden freight wagons bound fo> the Cariboo
mines or the Hudson's Bay posts at Kamloops and
elsewhere. The road is now a thing of the past; for
since the C.P.R. came into being it is no longer passable;   109
bridges have given way, rock slides block up the roadway, cribbing has tumbled into the turbulent waters of
the Fraser, and the "old timer" who sees these things
mourns for the good old road and the good old days
spent on it.
With the working out of bar diggings in the vicinity
of Yale and the inauguration of regular stage lines to
Cariboo, Yale gradually lost a considerable part of her
population and the town lost much of its bustle and stir.
The forwarding of merchandise to Cariboo and other
intermediate points by pack trains, mule teams, ox teams
("bull teams" they were called) and other means of conveyance, engaged the attention of many men who have
since risen to prominence in the province and many way
side houses were kept for the public convenience, and
the proprietor's profit, by others who have attained a
like eminence.
In 1863 the Hudson's Bay Company again moved
their post at Kamloops, this time to the south bank,
opposite the second site, there they remained until the
march erf progress rendered it advisable to make another
change and the building in the west end of the town recently occupied by the Standard, was erected in 1885.
In 1804 they moved to their present commodious quarters In 1864 the Columbia river bars attracted attention
of the gold miners and with the discovery of gold in
the Big BeirJ a busy time came for Kamloops, which
was on the direct route of travel to the new mines. The
government opened a trail from Kamloop.s by way of
Shuswap Lake, and in 1866, the wagon road was extended
f^rni Cache Creek to Savona at the foot of Kamloops
Lake.    Meanwhile the H. B. Co.,  the  late J.   W. McKay 10
being then in charge, the only available local source of
supplies, in anticipation of the rush, built the Steamer
Marten during the winter of 1865. Ihe following
spring the rush began and the Marten made regular
trips from Savona to Seymour, at the head of Shuswap
Lake, the fare being $10 for passengers, and freight
rates $20 a ton. Each trip the litle boat was crowded
with miners, thousands flocked to the new mines and
Seymour, form which point the rest of the journey was
made by trail, became quite a thriving town, of which,
however, little trace is left at this time. Kamloops gained some benefit from the excitement and the improvement was such that Messrs. Mara and Wilson opened
up a store in 1867. The Marten was the first steamer
to ply on these waters and ascended the North River
to a point 120 miles from its mouth. In 1868 Wm. Fortune, who built the first house in Kamloops, built the
first flour mill in the interior of B. C, the burrs coming
from Buffalo and costing $1,200 for the pair. A short
time after the road was completed to Savona it was decided to extend it to Kamloops, and the late James Mcintosh had the contract for building it.     115
OWARDS   the    latter    part of that memorable decade, the sixties, the question of confederation   became   a   burning   issue   in   the
province   and   in   1868   we   find   that   an   important convention was held at Yale  to consider    the    question,    the    gathering    being
attended    by   delegates    from   all    parts    of
the province,   those  from the   interior   being
from   Yale,  C.  Evans,   J.  McLardy   and   H.
Havelock;   from Lytton, R. Smith;,  from Lillooet, Dr. Featherstone; from Lac la Hache,
Dr.   Brouse;   from  Williams   Lake,   Hon.   F.
Barnard; from Quesnelle   Mouth,   «1. C.  Armstrong; and
from   Cariboo,   C. W. King and E. H. I?abbit.     Resolutions were   unanimously   passed   favoring immediate admission to the Dominion of Canada.    This was the fir&t
representative assembly in B.   C.  at which this momentous issue was discussed.    It was not, however, until  1871
that confederation was accomplished.
One of the conditions of the compact entered into by
B. C. and the Dominion was the construction of a transcontinental railway. Of the disappointments and postponements and heartburnings before that condition was
fulfilled  there is  no  need to enlarge in this  necessarily U6
brief synopsis of events, suffice it to say that it was not
until 1880 that the first sod of the C. P. 'R. was turned
in the province but once begun, it was pushed vigorously.
Andrew Onderdonk, familiarly referred to by everybody
on or off the road as "A. O.," was the contractor and
the amount involved for that portion of the road from
Emory to Savona, including the cantilever bridge at
Cisco, was $11,200,000, an average of $43,000 per mile.
Over 7,000 men were employed, sawmills were built by
the contractor, a powder factory was erected and operated between Yale and Emory, machine shops were
built at Yale and although for a time the main offices
were at Emory, it was soon found that Yale was better
adapted for the management's headquarters and Yale
once more put on the airs of a city, and the bustle and
stir surpassed that of 20 years before. It was a wide
open town, money flowed like water, good wages were
earned and freely spent and for a lively place, few western
towns could compare with little resurrected Yale. Town
ptoperty jumped to a high figure, business men put up
stores and built residences, the regular steamboaT connection with New Westminister was soon supplemented
with trains—not very elegant affairs* with most uncomfortable coaches—from down the river,and as the road
progressed eastward, by trains running in that direction
as   well.
Supplies for the road were taken partly by wagon,
partly by pack train, but this was expensive and slow
and finally it was decided to build a steamer to run the
canyon of the Fraser and convey the supplies more
economically to the farther camps. The steamer Skuzzy
was built at the Big Tunnel, east of Spuzzum, and aff*r   119
some difficulty a skipper was found willing to essay the
task of caking the vessel through the boiling, eddying,
treacherous rapids as they foamed through the dangerous
canyon. ^jShally two brothers named Smith consented
to try and^with J. W. Burse as engineer, aided by a
powerful;!steam winch and capstan and 150 Chinamen
hauling on the ropes the first load of freight was safely
carried and distributed along the river. Several trips
were made up and down, Lytton being the farthest point
reached. Subsequently the Skuzzy was tied up at
Keefer's and there remained until 1884, when the machinery was removed, taken to Savona and placed in the
newly built hull of the  Skuzzy number two.
With the passing of the period of activity coincident
with railway jlonstruction, Vale again fell into desuetude,
quiet reigntid*where bustle had prevailed; the streets, once
thronged wi&h men, became deserted, and gradually sinking farther and farther from the halycon days of yore,
house^ 5|^serted and desolate, sank into decay; stores,
offices arta warehouses, cheerless and empty, gave silent
'witness Mof a greatness that had been but was not Twice
Yale rosef'to a state of prosperity and affluence and twice
has it fallen into peaceful rest; who will say it may not
again become and permanently remain a hive of industry?',', ^'aie* but experienced the same fate that befell
many other towns. Lytton, too, was once a bustling
little town, so were Savona, Ashcroft and Spence's
Bridge. Eagle Pass Landing a* the head of Shuswap
lake shared the same fate  that came to  them  all  save
Ashcroft, varied only in degree. But such places as
endured have flourished, striking examples of the survival of the fittest. 120
In 1868 John Peterson pre-empted a parcel of land
east of the then little village, and afterwards purchased
an additional 320 acres. On the pre-emption he built
a house and stables, which are still standing, a short
distance east of the railway station. This location is of
interest as this land, the Peterson ranch, constitutes the
new town of Kamloops. In 1870 Barnard's express
stages, carrying the mails, ran as far as Savona, the
system soon extended to Kamloops and finally to Okanagan mission. The difficulty in procuring lumber led to
the establishment of a new industry about 1875, when
a combined flour and lumber mill was built on the flat,
then east of the town. Messrs, Mara, Wilsoiv Mcintosh
and Usherwere the owners. The last named gentleman
was the government agent at Kamloops at that time,
and met an untimely death, while engaged in the performance of his duty, at the hands of the McLean and
Hare gang, four in number, in December, 1879. The
murderers were hanged at New Westminster, January
31, 1881.
The year 1878 saw another steamer built on these
waters, the Lady Dufferin, the property of Wm. Fortune.
The boat did a general carrying business, running between Savona and Spallumcheen. The Spallumcheen,
owned by M&ra & Wilson, also plied on the same waters
for a number of years.
Apart from  the settlement that had been quietly and
steadily going on in the district for some time, another
important factor was at work in this decade in assisting
tc build up Kamloops, and this was the fact that from
its position Kamloops would be a place of some importance on the line of the proposed Canadian Pacific Rail-   121
way. It had been the intention to carry the road out
to the coast at Bute Inlet, and in 1872 surveyors were
sent out to survey the North Thompson and to explore
for a route from the Clearwater to* the Cariboo wagon
road, with the view of getting to Bute Inlet via Chil-
cotin, but this idea was abandoned and it was ultimately decided to bring the line down the Noith Thompson to Kamloops and then carry it to the salt water by
the route since adopted. Lord Dufferin visited Kamloops in 1876.
Kamloops was given telegraphic communication in
1878, the line being built by the Liberal Government
under Premier Alex. Mackenzie. F. J. Barnard, who
afterwards sat in the House of Commons as representative for Yale district, was the contractor for this work.
Kamloops   was   now   fairly   on   her   feet,   and   boasted
of hotels as well as stores.   The Dmunion Hotel was in
the hands of Mcintosh & Mc Phadden, and *he Cosmopolitan was conducted by John Peterson «Sr  Dassonville.
Mara  & Wilson had  the  only store  in the village,  the
Hudson's   BayCompany's   store   being   some   little   distance west of it, where near the bridge the old buildings
are yet standing.    In 1880 there were three stores, three
hotels,   two   blacksmith   shops   and   a   school.     Father
Grandidier  was  the  first  resident  clergyman  taking  up
his abode in  Kamloops in  1878.    He and other visiting
clergymen attended to the spiritual welfare of the people.
In  that year, A. Watson, of Victoria, built the  Peerless
steamboat  for J. A.  Mara to run, according to  the   Colonist,   "between   Cook's   Ferry  and   the   head   of  navigation."    The   Peerless   made   a   trip   to   Harper's   mill,   at
the  mouth  of the   Bonaparte   (near  Ashcroft),   in  June, 122
i88i, without using a line on the journey, accomplishing
the distance, 20 miles up stream, in five hours, and
subsequently made one trip to Cook's Ferry (Spence's
Bridge), Captain John Irving being in command. Kamloops reached out for trade in those days, perhaps proportionately more than today, although trade was not
always of the briskest. The Standard (a Victoria newspaper that long ago ceased to have its being), in the
issue of June 12, 1880, says: "Times at Kamloops are
dull at present. The Shuswap mill has been under
water for the past month. The Tranquille mill is run^
ning night and day. The steamer Lady Dufferin is
making regular trips every Tuesday to Spallumcheen.
Large quantities of flour are being Shipped from Tranquille mill to Savona's Ferry, Cariboo and other places."
In December, 1880, J. F. McCreight was appointed a
judge for the inland country, to sit at Kamloops.
May, 1881, saw Major Rogers set Out from Kamloops
by steamer  to   Eagle  river  to  look  for  a  pass  through
the   Selkirk   range   for   the   C.   P.   R.   construction   on
which was now going forward with vigor.    A pass was
subsequently found, and the route was again changed.
The Yellow Head Pass was abandoned, and an entirely
new route was selected, the line reaching Kamloops by
the South Thompson instead of by the North branch.   At
about the same time in the press the claims of Kamloops
as the proper capital of the Mainland were put forward
and discussed.
In   the  same   year  increased  mail   service   was   given
to points east, reached by wagon road from Kamloops.
So far a semi-monthly mail had been given, but in the
spring   of   1S81   the   mail   contract   from   Cache   Creek to Okanagan Mission (now known as Kelowna), via
Kamloops and Spallumcheen, giving a weekly service
for four years, was awarded to J. B. Leighton
The Province was in 1S82 in the throes of the fourth
general election (Provincial) since Confederation, and
Mr. Mara was elected for the third consecutive term,
with him being associated Preston Bennett, who had
represented the same district in the previous legislature,
and C. A. Semlin, who was one of the trio selected from
Yale to represent that district in the first legislature
of the conjoint Province. Mr. Bennett never sat in the fourth
parliament, for a few days after the election he had
an attack of hemorrhage of the lungs, and died on
August 9, 1882, at the residence of Mr. John Tait, local
manager of the Hudson's Bay Company's post since
1872. The vacancy caused by Mr. Bennett's death was
filled by G. B. Martin, who continued to represent Yale
until the general election of 1898, when he was defeated
by F. J. Deane, who in turn was defeated in 1900 and
1903 by F. J. Fulton.    CHAPTER IX.
OCIAL life in the earlier days was not marked by the lines that characterize it to-day.
The people were almost like one family, and
at times they met for jollity and pleasure;
balls and impromptu dances in winter,
horse-racing and other sports on such public
holidays as were observed. But a change
was at hand. The C. P. R. was coming
slowly    but    steadily    nearer. The    shrill
whistle of the locomotive was soon heard
at Savona, and in the winter of 1884
the grading ' of the roadbed between that point and
Kamloops was under way. Kamloops was now a busy
place, with a constant stream of people going and coming, and it was not without its distinguished visitors.
October, 1882, had seen the Marquis of Lome in Kamloops and three years later the Marquis of LaDsdowne,
his successor to the Governor-Generalship, visited the
Up to 1884 no newspaper had been published at
Kamloops, but in that year the Inland Sentinel made
its   appearance   as   a   Kamloops   publication.     This   was not, however, the beginning of the paper. Mr. Hagan,
its founder, first established the paper at Emory, a few
miles below Yale, on May 29, 1880, removing to Yale
shortly afterwards. Moving with the times and the
railway, Mr. Hagan brought the Inland Sentinel to
Kamloops,   where   it   has   remained.
In that same year the first firemen's company was
established, the meetings at which it was formed being
held in Spelman's (Cosmopolitan) hotel, in August.
The following month a movement was set on foot to
build a hospital in Kamloops. Arrangements were soon
made, and the contract for the building was given to
W. A. Simmons. The hotels in 1884 were of some importance, for half the population lived in them. The
Arlington, near where the Queen's hotel now stands,
was kept by Sears & Nichols. At a later date the building was removed bodily to the east end of the street
and was named the Oriental, now Leland ho.el,
Frank Rushton doing the honors as host for a time.
Jos. Ratchford, recently the superintendent of the Provincial home, ran the Kamloops house. The late Ed.
Cannell had the Dominion, J. T. Edwards the Cosmopolitan and Desormicr the Colonial. The medical profession was represented by Dr. S. J. Tunstall, now of
Vancouver, and Dr. Offerhaus, now of Spallumcheen.
It was a treat to see the latter, clad in his dressing
gown, stalk down to the stables through the only street
Kamloops then possessed, to feed and groom his little
cayuse.    W. W. Spinks, now judge of the county court,
was then practising as an attorney, and for some time
was the only member of the bar in town. The housekeeper of the present day would be staggered were our
? 129
storekeepers to revert to the prices of 1884. Flour was
$6 per 100 lbs.; ham and bacon 30 cents per lb.; tea
80 cents to $1.50 per lb.; pork 25 cents; sugar 25 cents
and eggs 75 cents a dozen. Hay sold at $25 per ton,
and lumber at $20 to $30 per thousand.
A visitor in Oct., 1884, was Hon. Wm. Smythe, then
Premier, who was also Chief Commissioner of Lands
and Works, which latter portfolio, after his death in
1887, fell to F. G. Vernon, one of the three members
for Yale district, which then for the first time secured
cabinet   representation.
The next year saw many advances made. The Hudson's Bay people moved their store into the town. A
new steamer, the Kamloops, was built early in the year,
and was launched in April, the machinery being that
from the Myra. a stern-wheeler that had formerly run
below   Yah*
Failing to come to an arrangement with Mr. Mara
roi the transport of supplies, Mr. Ondcrdonk determined to build a steamer to ply on these waters, using
the machinery from a discarded steamer, the Skuzzy,
which had made several eventful trips through the canyon of the Fraser. A hull was built at Savona, the
machinery installed, and then a compromise arranged.
The Skuzzy was put to good use, however, serving as
a floating hotel for the tracklayers, and moving along
with them, as they came on towards and beyond i'am-
loops. The Skuzzy was afterwards bought by Mr. Mara,
and  is  now  lying beside  the  Peerless,  sheer  hulks.
In July, 1885, the railway track reached Kamloops,
and on November 7th of the same year, at 3 o'clock in 130
the  afternoon,  the  first  through  train   from   the  east  to
Port   Moody  arrived.
In the same year John Peterson disposed ot his ranch
lying to the cast of the old town to the townsite syndicate, of which Messrs. Mara, Ward and Pooley were
members. The new townsite was surveyed at once by
R. H. Lee. In 1885 the Government decided to build a
new court house. Government Agent Tunstall chose
the present central site, and in that same year its construction was entered upon. The old court house
destroyed by fire three years ago, was a log cabin, whitewashed, with the cells opening direct into the confined
space that served as court room, i)n which, indeed,
many matters of grave moment have come before the
judges of both the County and Supreme courts. Court
day was deemed a sort of festival, and the coming of a
Supreme court judge—and Mr. Justice Walkem was the
favorite—was looked forward to with a zest that is
not seen in the present and more prosaic age.
With the coming of the C. P. R., the town grew
steadily, and its being made a divisional point at once
added largley to its growing population. In early days,
water was carried from the river in buckets, or hauled
up in barrels, but with the growth of the town these
means became altogether inadequate. The late Mr.McIn-
tosh, who was never lacking in enterprise, met the
want and supplied the town from a reservoir into which
the water was pumped from the river. By private enterprise also the town was supplied with electric light.
In 1893 the city was incorporated, and the water and light
services were  acquired by the municipality by purchase.
Two new plants have  since been put in. 131
In 1896 the presence of copper-gold ore was discoverea
on Coal hill, not far from the place wnere a few years
previously Major Vaughan and others had mined with
more or less success for coal. Development has progressed steadily and the Iron Mask mine is now a regular shipper, and other properties give indications of
arriving at the same stage in the near future.
But little mention has been made of local representation in the House of Commons. Dominion elections created very little excitement until the last two or three contests. Chas F. Houghton was first chosen, but his term
was short, the parliament only lasting 1871-72. He was
succeeded by Edgar Dewdney (afterwards Lieut-governor of the province), who sat for Yale from 1872 until
his appointment as Indian commissioner. F. J. Barnard
stepped into his shoes, to be himself replaced by J. A.
Mara, who occupied the seat from 1886 until his defeat
by Mr. Bostock at the general election, 1896, in the united
constituency of Yale-Cariboo. In the general election
of 1900, W. A. Galliher of Nelson, was elected M. P., and
in 1904, the district being divided into two constituencies,
Kootenay and Yale-Cariboo, Duncan Ross was elected
for the latter, H. Bostock being created a senator in the
same year.  133
Alexander Ross, then in the service of the Pacific Fur
Company, first visited the vicinity of where Kamloops now
stands on May 16th, 1812. He had been preceded, however,
by David Thompson, the Nor'wester, who explored the
Thompson river early in 1811, and David Stuart, one of the
partners in the Pacific Fur Company. On September 16th,
1811, Stuart, accompanied by three men, two of whom,
Montigny and Boullard, were Canadian voyageurs, left
Fort Okanagan, near the junction of the Okanagan and
Columbia rivers, on a journey to the unexplored north,
leaving Alexander Ross, mentioned above, alone in charge
of the then newly established post, his sole "civilized companion being," as Ross puts it, "a little Spanish pet dog
from Monterey, named Weasel/'
Intending only to be absent a month, it w*s not until
March 22nd, 1812, that Stuart and his companions
returned to Fort Okanagan. Of his journey he gave the
following account: "After leaving this place" (Fort Okanagan) "we bent our course up the Oakinacken, due north,
for upwards of 250 miles, till we reached its source; then
crossing a height of land fell upon Thompson's JRiver, or
rather the south branch of Fraser's River, after travelling
for some time amongst a powerful nation called the She
Waps (Shuswaps). The snow fell while we were here in the
mountains, and precluded our immediate return; and after
waiting for fine weatner the snow got so deep that we considered it hopeless to attempt to get back, and, therefore,
passed our time with the She Waps and other tribes in that
quarter. The Indians were numerous and well disposed,
and the country throughout abounds in beavers and all
other  kinds   of  fur:   and  I have  made  arrangements  to 134
establish a trading post there the ensuing winter. On the
2r>th of February we began our homeward journey, and
spent just twenty-five days on our way back. The distance
may be about 350 miles."
Early in 1812, the first meeting of the partners in the
Pacific Fur Company was held at Fort Astoria, and among
the resolutions passed was this one: "That Mr. David
Stuart proceed to his post at Oakinacken, explore the country northward, and establish another post between that and
New Caledonia.'' The new post suggested in this resolution
was to be at Kamloops and thither Mr Stuart despatched
Alexander Ross. Ross thus describes the expedition:—
"On the Hh of May I started with Boullard and an
Indian, with sixteen horses, on a trading excursion, and
following Mr. Stuart's route of last winter, reached the
She Waps on Thompson's River, the tenth day, and there
encamped at a place called by the Indians Cumcloups, near
the entrance of the North branch. From this station I sent
messages to the different tribes around, who soon assem-
bled, bringing with them their furs. Here we stayed for
ten days. The number of Indians collected on the occasion
could not have been less than 2,000," (and the one white man,
Ro;ss, alone amongst them with his trading outfit!). "Not
expecting to see so many, I had taken but a small quantity
of goods with me; nevertheless, we loaded all our horses—
so anxious were they to trade, and so fond of leaf tobacco,
that one morning before breakfast I obtained one hundred
and ten beavers for leaf tobacco, at the rate of five leaves
per skin, and at last, when I had but one yard of white cotton remaining, one of the chiefs gave me twenty prime
beaver skins for it. Having finished our trade, we prepared to return home; but before we could get our odds and
ends ready, Boullard, my trusty second, got involved in a
love affair, which had nearly involved us all in a disagreeable scrape with the Indians.. He was as full of latent tricks
as a serpent is full of guile. Unknown to me, the oldfelLow
had been teasing the Indians for a wife, and had already
an old squaw at his heels,  but could not raise the wind to 13d
pay the whole purchase money. With an air of effrontery
he asked me to unload one of my horses to satisfy the demands of the old father-in-law, and because I refused him,:
he threatened to leave me and to remain with the savages.
Provoked by his conduct, I suddenly turned round and
horsewhipped the fellow, and, fortunately, the Indians did
not interfere. The castigation had a good effect, it brought
the amorous gallant to his senses—the squaw was left
behind. "
In the same year, on August 25th, Mr. Stuart, wiih men
and merchandise, set out from Oakinacken for "She Waps,"
and four months later, December 20th, Mr. Ross, who had
been again left in charge of Fort Oakinacken, left the fort
to pay a visit to his chief at "Cumcloups," where he arrived
on the last day of 18i2. He found that Mr. Stuart had just
established himself in his winter quarters, and that the
Northwest Company following hard on his heels, had built
a post alongside-of him, "so that," wrote Ross, "there
was. opposition there as well as at Mr. Clarke's place, without the trickery and manoeuvring. M. La Roque, the
Northwest clerk in charge, and Mr. Stuart were open and
candid and on friendly terms." With Mr. Stuart, Ross remained for five days, and then returned/to Fort Oakinacken,
following a new route. He wrote: ' 'But I chose a bad season
of the year to satisfy my curiosity. We got bewildered in
the mountains and deep snows, and our progress was exceedingly slow, tedious and discouraging. We were five
days in making as many miles." After suffering hunger
and privations, shared by man and beast, Ross reached an
Indian camp where a day was spent to recuperate, "procured some furs, and then, following the course of the Sim-
ilka-meigh river, got to Oakinacken at the forks," reaching
the fort on January 24th, 1813.
On May 13th Mr. Stuart with his men and furs, arrived at
Fort Okanagan from the "She Waps," in reference to which
post he wrote: "I have passed a winter nowise unpleasant:
the opposition, it is true, gave me a good deal of anxiety
when it first arrived, but we agreed very well,  and made as 136
much, perhaps more, than if we had been enemies I sent
out parties in all directions, north as far as Fraser's River,
and for 200 miles up the south branch. The accounts from
all quarters were most satisfactory. The country is everywhere rich in furs and the natives very peaceable."    


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items