Introduction

Index of People

First Nations Gallery

59 Mile House
70 Mile House
108 Mile House
118 Mile House
122 Mile House
127 Mile House
137 Mile House
141 Mile House
150 Mile House

Ashcroft Manor
Beaver Pass House
Cottonwood
House

Hat Creek
House

Pinchbeck Ranch
Pollard's Cornish Roadhouse

Other People

Bibliography

Moberly, "History of Cariboo Wagon Road", continued
(Part 3 of 13)

Ever since the arrival of the corps of Royal Engineers, under the command of the late Major-General Richard Clement Moody, sent out by the Imperial government in the year 1858, to maintain law and order, and to generally supervise and control all such measures and works needed to establish the colony on a firm and lasting basis, I had been on the most intimate terms with Colonel Moody. I had fully explained to him my views regarding the construction of a Canadian transcontinental railway, and also my belief that the great wagon road to develop the colony should be built through the canyons of the Fraser River, etc. I also had many conversations with the late Sir James Douglas, who was the first governor of the mainland of British Columbia, but Sir James considered the physical difficulties presented by the canyons of the Fraser and Thompson River of too formidable a nature, and for that reason he had caused to be undertaken the construction of a wagon road over the different portages between Lake Harrison and the present town of Lillooet, on the Fraser River. This route was a broken land and water one that necessitated much handling of the freight passing over it, and was not at all likely to be able to accommodate and meet the coming needs and prospective commercial demands of the country.

The rich discoveries of gold in Cariboo afforded me the opportunity of pushing forward my project of building the great arterial highway by the valleys of the Fraser and Thompson Rivers, etc. I saw Colonel Moody and we proceeded together to make a careful examination of the canyons, and before we parted he was as convinced as myself that it was the route to adopt for the great highway. We arranged to meet the following winter in Victoria and press our views on Governor Douglas.

The discoveries of gold mentioned induced prominent citizens of Victoria to combine in the endeavor to get roads constructed from the heads of Bute Inlet and Bentick Arm direct to Quesnelle mouth, in order to draw the trade of the Cariboo districts away from the Fraser River route and center it in Victoria. These projects I opposed and then commenced the long struggle between the people of Victoria and those of the mainland to capture the trade of the Cariboo districts.

When I arrived in Victoria in the early part of the year 1862 I found that Colonel Moody had preceded me, and that the whole people of that place were much excited about the goldfields of Cariboo, and the projected roads from Bute Inlet and Bentick Arm, and that Governor Douglas was greatly in favor of subsidizing a wagon road, projected by the late Mr. Alfred Waddington, from the head of Bute Inlet to Quesnelle mouth, and that the governor was also about to grant a charter to Mr. Gustavus Blinn [sic] Wright to construct a toll road, assisted by a subsidy from the government, from Lillooet to Fort Alexandria, from where Mr. Wright proposed to continue the connection on to Quesnelle mouth by means of a stern-wheeler steamer he was about to build for that purpose.

My project for building the Yale Cariboo wagon road looked very unpromising. I saw both Mr. Waddington and Mr. Green, the latter gentleman being at the head of the project of getting a road from Bentick Arm, whilst Mr. Waddington, as before mentioned, was at the head of the Bute Inlet project. I proposed to them that they should abandon their projects, and all of us combine and get a charter for a toll road to be constructed over the Yale-Cariboo route. They were too sanguine of their prospects to entertain my proposition, and as they considered my proposed undertaking of getting a wagon road built through the canyons of the Fraser River, etc., which they though was impracticable, they therefore declined my proposition.

After Colonel Moody and myself had several interviews with Governor Douglas we managed to convince him that the Yale-Cariboo route was the best to adopt for the general development of the country, and that it was imperative that its construction should be undertaken at once.


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