On the scenic Fraser Canyon Highway #1, Yale Historic Site takes you back to the boom years during the Fraser Gold Rush. In its heyday, Fort Yale was one of the largest cities west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. With its influx of Gold Rushers, Yale gained a reputation as for it’s wild ways, truly Canada’s Wild West.
The town had boom and bust years for nearly a century, until its most recent and seemingly final decline came with the building of the Coquihala Highway, which bypasses the town.
Today, the village still remains, with historic buildings interspersed but much of the Yale Historic Site centres on the 1870s Creighton House. Creighton House is holds the museum, rooms filled with donated and collected artefacts and photographs, from First Nations, Pioneer and Chinese communities, depicting life during the Gold Rush and Railway years. Outside the House, the Living History Tent City shows more details of the Gold Rush. Try your hand at Gold Panning or take a look at the General Store, Doctors, Saloon, Chinese Worker’s Dorms, Jail and Stables and see how life was lived in the 19th Century. The, now deconsecrated, 1863 St John The Divine Church is still available for weddings and special events.
Yale Historic Site is open seasonally April – October, 10am-5pm Visitor guides are available at the Museum.
Admission: Family Passes (2 adults + 3 children) – $25 Adults – $9.50 Youth (7-18), Seniors, Students – $7.00
History comes alive at Fort Langley, National Historic Site, with original and replica buildings, costumed guides, entertainment and activities. In response to the active interests of American fur traders on the Pacific Coast the British Hudson’s Bay Company established a base at Fort Langley in 1827. Located strategically near the mouth of the Fraser River just north of the 49th parallel and close to a large aboriginal population the
Fort was in prime territory for success as a trading post, the Fort was never a military fort. With the arrival of the Steam Ship Beaver, which acted as a mobile trading post the HBC was able to keep the American competition at bay. Fort Langley served as the prime junction for trade between the north Fraser regions and the Pacific Coast. Ships brought in supplies for traders and left loaded with furs and other local commodities to be taken back to Britain. With the arrival of the Gold Rush in 1858 Fort Langley was ideally situated for further success and fame as the starting point for the Fraser River Gold Fields. The influx of American gold panners brough fears of American annexation so the Fort’s governor and the British Government established the colony of British Columbia, signing the declaration in the Big House at Fort Langley. After the fur trade and gold rush passed and trade moved into a more retail atmosphere in the growing nearby village the Fort was sold into private hand for a number of decades as a working farm. In 1923, with just one original building intact, the Canadian Goverment recognized the significant historic value of the Fort Langley and in 1931 opened the site to the public. restoration and redevelopment has continued ever since. In recognition of Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary, Fort Langley has had an update of bother property and programs. Eleven buildings plus rebuilt palisades and bastions are not contained within the historic Fort. Kitchen gardens, livestock and interactive areas have been included as well. Stepping through the Fort gates for the first time really does feel as though you’ve passed into another time, the buildings and site feel authentic and genuine. The costumed guides and attendants lend an added authenticity to the surroundings. The staff seem to possess a passion for sharing their stories and knowledge about the Fort, that comes across as genuine interest not an act for the tourists. The site is well laid out, following the original site plans minus a few of the original buildings, that even with an abundance of day camp children around, there was plenty of room and time to take in the activities and watch the reenactments. A tea shop is located in one of the buildings for those who want a break in their visit and a gift shop is located in the modern Parks Canada administration building outside the palisades.
Parks Canada Fort Langley, National Historic Site is located at 23433 Mavis Ave , 2 blocks from downtown Fort Langley. Free parking is available on site. The Fort is open year round except Christmas, Boxing and New Year’s Day. Children under 5 are free and adult admission is just $7.80.