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83 Mile House: general information

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83 Mile House

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  • Type of destination: Historic and Heritage Site
  • Location of destination: Canada - British Columbia
  • Site with full info
This was a Farm Equipment Museum for a while, but is now deserted (?). With the chance that the information they gathered could be lost on the internet, we decided to copy the information we found on the Archive Today website.
"History of the 83 Mile Stage Coach Stopping House:
The start of the Cariboo Wagon Road Stories say that gold was found in the Cariboo as early as 1852. Others say 1856 and 1857. Either way by 1858 the Hudson's Bay Company had acquired 800 ounces of gold in its raw state. Because it still had to...
This was a Farm Equipment Museum for a while, but is now deserted (?). With the chance that the information they gathered could be lost on the internet, we decided to copy the information we found on the Archive Today website.
"History of the 83 Mile Stage Coach Stopping House:
The start of the Cariboo Wagon Road Stories say that gold was found in the Cariboo as early as 1852. Others say 1856 and 1857. Either way by 1858 the Hudson's Bay Company had acquired 800 ounces of gold in its raw state. Because it still had to be minted, and the closest mint was in San Francisco, the gold was loaded on a steam ship and sent south. California, where a gold rush had just taken place, was full of gold hungry miners. When they saw the steamship unload they were on their way - to GOLD - in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada.
Its estimated that 23,000 passengers left California by sea and another 8,000 made the trek across land. Those that came by sea landed in Victoria, only to find out that they were still 200 miles from the gold fields. They then had to purchase tickets on ships that took them up the Fraser River - where the gold rush started. Miners looking further up river, to where they thought the gold might have originated, struck it rich. By 1861 the official yield was over $2.5 million! Most of this had come from the Williams Creek area. Unofficial sources, because of what was not declared, were said to be closer to $5 million. It was a sailor named Billy Barker, that had left the sea for the gold fields, that hit it big ... at 52 feet one pan was yielding $5 and one square foot of ground was yielding $1000.
The existing trails, and the rivers, were extremely treacherous however, and because of the number of miners heading north it was decided that a wagon road should be built. In 1861 GB Wright began work on a 47 mile stretch of road from Lillooet to Clinton, then known as 47 Mile House, with Lillooet being Mile One. In 1862 Wright was awarded a contract for 130 miles of road to be built from Clinton to Soda Creek. Wages for road building in this era were something like this: White men received fifty-four dollars a month, Chinese men were getting forty-six dollars a month, and contractors were being paid about $450.00 per mile.
The building of the wagon road inspired the use of stage coaches, and so that they had a place to switch to fresh horses, stopping houses were built every 10 to 15 miles, with some areas seeing stops every 3 to 4 miles. 59 Mile, 70 Mile, 74 Mile, 83 Mile, 93 Mile, and 100 Mile are some examples of where stopping houses were located.
83 Mile House:
Richard Walters, like many others, had left home and headed for the gold rush in British Columbia. While working his way north on Wright's road crew he decide to pre-empt a quarter section of land with his buddies, John Saul and Robert Beard. His brothers, Thomas and John, later joined him and took over Saul and Beard's pre-emption and started building a roadhouse. Over time the Walters brothers enlarged their acreage at the 83 Milepost and established other roadhouse farms at the 93, 105, and the 122 Mile.
It is said that in 1865 the first White male baby to be born in the Cariboo was born at 83 Mile, to parents Thomas and Mary Walters. That same year saw the Telegraph come to 83 Mile with Albert Chrysler in charge. Chrysler then bought the 83 Mile from the Walters brothers in 1866.
The latter part of the 1860s saw 83 Mile as a very popular stopping point for pack-trains and wagons. There was good meadowland and plenty of hay and oats could be put up for the winter. From late Spring through to Fall one could often see a dozen or more wagons at the 83 Mile every week but in winter months it dropped to pretty much just the Barnard's Express Company stagecoaches (later known as the BC Express company, or just BX).
Chrysler sold the 83 Mile to Murdock Ross in 1868 and in 1889 Steven Tingley, owner of the BC Express Co, leased the property. Tingley ended up purchasing the property in 1897 and it was at this point in time that the 83 Mile House was completely renovated and enlarged, becoming one of the main stations on the BX stage line. A meal or a bed for the night could be had for 50 cents and out back was a large horse barn that could stall 50 horses. Its this barn that was built in the 1860s that is still there today!
In 1905, with the retirement of Steven Tingley, David Stoddard of Clinton purchased the 83 Mile. Following World War 1, Stoddard sold to a government-sponsored Soldier Settlement Board who placed two veterans, Tony Orford and Jack Templeton, in charge and it was in 1922 that the 83 Mile House burned to the ground. During the 1930s, the 83 Mile House was rebuilt by a Williams Lake druggist, and the restaurant served meals, to IT Stage passengers, and then rubber tired vehicle passengers until the highway was relocated in 1948."
View this informative Youtube video by BC Ghost Towns.
This was a Farm Equipment Museum for a while, but is now deserted (?). With the chance that the information they gathered could be lost on the internet, we decided to copy the information we found on the Archive Today website.
"History of the 83 Mile Stage Coach Stopping House:
The start of the Cariboo Wagon Road Stories say that gold was found in the Cariboo as early as 1852. Others say 1856 and 1857. Either way by 1858 the Hudson's Bay Company had acquired 800 ounces of gold in its raw state. Because it still had to...

83 Mile House: nearby sleeping facilities

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83 Mile House: nearby destinations

37 Other parks or sites within 200km (125mi):

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